Friday, 6 July 2018

DRUG CULT ~ DRUG CULT ........ review

Mullumbimby, Australia  is a little known town in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales with a population of roughly only 3,596 people, four of those townsfolk go by the names Aasha, Govinda, Maggie and Dale and together they have formed a rather interesting little musical combo with a sound quite unlike any other, a sound that is dark, dank and a little disturbing yet at the same time exciting and hugely enjoyable, a sound that can be heard first hand when giving their self titled debut album "Drug Cult" a spin.

If  a band populate their debut album with songs that have titles like "Serpent Therapy", "Mind Crypt", "Bloodstone" and "Acid Eye" it is a fairly safe bet that the sound created by that band is going to be leaning towards the darker edges of the musical spectrum and not be too heavy on hearts and flowers or puppy dogs and kittens. There maybe exceptions, where an albums song titles are not a reflection of the music they contain, (Desert Psychlist does not know of too many) but Drug Cult's debut is most certainly an album edged with dank menace and swathed in a halo of darkness. Doom is the musical currency Drug Cult deal in but let us not fool you into thinking  that that these Australian doomanauts are going to assail us with some generic plodding lowness and slowness as there is so much more going on here. Experimental is the first word that pops into Desert Psychlist's mind as the first strains of "Serpent Therapy" wend their way out of the speakers.  Govinda Paunovic's ,slightly discordant, guitar droning and feeding back over Maggie Schreiber's growling, grizzled bass and Dale Walker's tumultuous percussion is superbly topped off by Aasha Tozer's vocals, her strong powerful voice, closer to a banshee-like maniacal howl than an ethereal  ghostish wail, bringing an added level of menace and  sinisterness to the grooves she is singing over. Although there is a crushingly heavy element to all the songs on "Drug Cult" the band alleviate the cloying atmosphere's they create by cleverly shifting the dynamics within each song to accommodate lighter shades and textures, sometimes subtly, sometimes dramatically, this works especially well on the schizophrenic "Slaylude" and album closer "Spell", the band taking off on tangents and shifting through the gears without once ever losing focus on either songs initial groove.

"Drug Cult" is an album that although containing all the attributes we look for in doom is not defined by those attributes, an album that has the cloying dankness of "doom" yet the swing and raunch of the more accessible "occult rock" muddying the waters between the two while at the same time retaining its own identity and originality
Check it out ….

© 2018 Frazer Jones

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