DJ Hostettler

Drugs Dragons, S/T

By - Sep 29th, 2010 10:03 pm
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Drugs Dragons’ self-titled debut is out now on Dusty Medical

There was a point in my youth when hearing Drugs Dragons would have scared the shit out of me. My first year of college, fresh out of the cocoon of my home parish, thrown into a community full of newly-independent pot-smoking hedonists…had the guys in the combat boots next door been blasting Drugs Dragons’ self-titled debut longplayer, vocalist Puke Drugs snarling “Kill the pigs! Kill your parents! KILL YOURSAAAAALF!,” the over-the-top refrain from “Predator Weapons,” hell, I’d have been Stuart from Beavis & Butthead hearing Slayer for the first time.

Sure, I’m a bit more worldly these days, and have a little more context in which to place music as unnervingly primal as Drugs Dragons, but the 11 tracks that make up their Dusty Medical release still recall nights spent in a strange new bedroom, lying awake while the campus DJ plays Chrome and Big Black through a radio you’ve dialed down to barely audible so as not to disturb your new roommate as he dryly gasps for air, either from apnea or climax—you’re not sure which, but you’re pretty sure Steve Albini just said “I kill what I eat” and now you’re going to have nightmares.

With titles like “Carnivore,” “Chuds in Love,” and “(I’m in a) Braingrave,” it’s clear that DD are exploring both the subterranean and the subhuman—not just digging up the ground that the Cramps and Clone Defects mined, but wallowing and burying themselves in it, too. Erroric Mildew’s broken cymbals clank underneath Tony Sagger’s and Zorach Dragons’ 60-cycle guitar and bass while Puke Drugs wails, moans, and drunkenly howls in the cracks and corners left open by the band’s minimalist bashing, channeling Helios Creed backed by Lux and Ivy.

Truth? Truth—the couple times I’ve seen Drugs Dragons live, it didn’t do much for me. Maybe it’s trash-punk fatigue, but I wasn’t exactly impressed with the bare-bones songwriting and the, well, shambolic nature of the rhythm section (he said diplomatically). But listening to these demolition demon rods on wax, it’s obvious that technical proficiency never was in the game plan. These guys are conveying a specific mood soaked in alcohol, acid and afterbars—in other words, they’re playing to their strengths, and it pays off big time. Drop this on the turntable at the Halloween party next month—maybe some naïve UWM frosh will stumble through the door and you’ll get to freak the square out. Get his arms! Get his legs! Get his thighs! These guys are carnivores.

Drugs Dragons celebrate the release of the self-titled disc on Saturday, Oct. 2 at Club Garibaldi, with fellow night terrors Head on Electric, Burning Sons, Death Dream, and the Get Drunk Djs.

Categories: Review

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