grunge guitars hardcore rock punk review rock

Drug Church – Hygiene Review

Raging against shrinking margins.

What does Drug Church sound like?

Heavy hardcore rock with enough emotion and guttural roars to command an army.

The review of Drug Church – Hygiene

The thing that struck me upon first hearing Drug Church’s music in action was the balance of energy and emotion. The hardcore rockers always feel about ten seconds away from spiralling away into utter carnage but their skill of not totally giving into a rage of emotion and instead channelling it into surging riffs is what gives them an edge. That is an edge in songwriting, performance and just in general with their tone. “Hygiene” may be their most tuneful album to date but it’s no less potent.

photo of Drug Church
Drug Church

Cramming ten chunky riff-led songs into 26 minutes, Drug Chruch doesn’t hang about. Lyrically, the album feels just as relatable as their previous efforts and raging against “shrinking margins” is a theme that runs throughout. Whether it’s the stadium chugs of guitars in “Million Miles of Fun” or the furious frenzies of “Super Saturated”, each guitar riff hits and hits hard. There is a sizzle to the razor-sharp guitars that I always imagined Nirvana moving toward if they were a band in 2022. It is grungy and messy but contained and fun.

That being said, Drug Church still finds time to try other styles of rock too. “Detective Lieutenant” has a wonderful bass-driven hook that’s like an over-plugged Cure. “Premium Offer” has plenty of quirky sarcastic fun in the lyrics and the musical set-up reflects that. Why not pair greed and two-faced music industries with a riff that is like a jolly circus act at times? Elsewhere “Tiresome” leans into the grungier side of hardcore more than most with feedback solos and distorted vocal spats. Then we have the punkish “Piss & Quiet” and “Fun’s Over” that explode and disperse in around 90 seconds. Only the closing track passes the 3 minute 30 seconds mark and it is a glorious anthem about everything Drug Church seems to stand for. You spend your life working for the man, honing a craft and being expected to do more with less. It’s a powerful message that leaves you feeling purged, heard, honoured and electrified rather than deflated. It’s quite tricky to speak of such general everyday misery and still make your hardcore punk-infused anthems feel empowering. Drug Church manage that with aplomb.

This takes me full circle back to energy. “Hygiene” is an album bursting with it. It is infectious too as the guitar hooks just keep coming, supported by some pacey bass and percussion. Now I can rage and feel clean again afterwards, re-energised for the daily grind. I’ve seen the phrase grungecore mentioned a few times around Drug Church and I love that idea of a genre. It is a mash-up of grunge and hardcore rock and brings the best of both together in a way that gives you a cathartic release from life and a way to let off steam. Music is a tonic sometimes and this is one of those elixirs.

Recommended track: Super Saturated

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Drug Church - Hygiene

9

9.0/10

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