Album review: Drug Church – Hygiene

Albany misfits Drug Church make long-awaited return with cynicism, weirdness and big riffs intact on Hygiene…

Album review: Drug Church – Hygiene
Paul Travers

After making us wait for three and a half years for a brand-new full-length album, Drug Church present us with just over 26 minutes of music. And it’s so good that it’s been absolutely worth the wait. Good things come in small packages, it seems, as Hygiene rattles by in a blur. No song outstays its welcome and there’s not an ounce of filler or flab to be shed.

Despite its lean frame there’s a lot going on across the ten tracks on offer. The hardcore rasp and grunge swells from 2018’s outstanding Cheer are still recognisably present and correct but Drug Church are an increasingly broad church here. Fun’s Over kicks things off with a Pixies-esque dynamic pulse while Plucked struts and spasms on jerky new wave riffs and peals of feedback. Detective Lieutenant has a Cure-style bass and echoing use of space while Piss & Quiet is a pure punk assault with stop-start riffs and strained but never quite screamed vocals. Closer Athlete On Bench is also the album’s longest song, clocking in at an epic three minutes 59 seconds with a churning groove reminiscent of Leatherface on their seminal Mush.

There are all sorts of influences proudly worn on sleeves, but Drug Church huff them all in and exhale something distinctive and unique. The hooks are ever-present but subtle and somehow disquieting, like a spider walking across your skin. And despite frontman Patrick Kindlon’s suggestion on Piss & Quiet that you, ‘Don’t believe a thing / From a man onstage’, the lyrics are both interesting and nuanced as they examine themes of artists, art and its consumption.

Drug Church are as addictively seductive as ever and listening to Hygiene might just be one of the most satisfying things you can do in less than half an hour.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Fiddlehead, IDLES, Pixies

Hygiene is released on March 11 via Pure Noise Records

Check out more:

Now read these

The best of Kerrang! delivered straight to your inbox three times a week. What are you waiting for?