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Album Review

Drug Church – ‘Swell’ [EP] [Album Review]



No Sleep Records

By Jesse Espana

Drug Church is out with a new EP titled Swell that combines the harsh tendencies of hardcore music with the innocence of alternative-indie and will leave you trying to catch your breath and clear your throat.

Honestly, having not been familiar with Patrick Kindlon’s previous work, Drug Church’s lead singer, until this point, or even Drug Church’s last release Paul Walker, I feel somewhat upset that I’ve missed out on some pretty prolific music. Kindlon has managed to do some serious damage in the world of post-hardcore music and his new band’s recent EP is a testament to that.

Swell had me feeling anxious throughout its entire runtime. Kindlon’s yelling made me feel like yelling right back without even knowing the words. I’ve been spending a lot of time with this release and it’s managed to hit a lot of inner feelings. The hardcore aspects are powerful and the indie throwbacks had me feeling nostalgic. Weirdly, I’d go as far as to say Drug Church would be the offspring of Deftones and Weezer.

“Mall SWAT” seems like it should be placed on a separate album because of its lack of an indie feel but it’s the vocals once again that pull me in and forces me to take it in as a stand-alone piece of work. Each song is different and yet similar in the passion it conveys to the listener. “Work-Shy,” while starting off slow and somewhat mellow, ended with energy that I also wish I could take in live.

“Zero Zero” is my personal favorite. It utilizes a somewhat simple but unique sounding instrumentation and tone from the guitars that once again reminds me Deftones and Weezer. It’s “Be Quiet And Drive” meets “Tired Of Sex.” It’s loud and even when it cuts off or drops down to quieter sections of the songs, Swell still seems in your face.

The vocals and lyrical content are raw, and to accompany that notion of yelling back at the speakers had me making sure my throat wasn’t torn up from just hearing Kindlon go off. J. Robbins produced the EP and has also worked with Against Me! and Murder By Death. He managed to capture the rawness of Drug Church without sacrificing any of the clarity in the sound. It’s loud and distorted but nothing goes unnoticed or gets overpowered.

The best way I can describe this album is a joyfully sickening mess, but I loved even minute of it and feel compelled to seek out a live show. Luckily, they will be hitting up the United States in the near future, but in the meantime, don’t pass up on this EP.