Desert Psychlist has to confess to being a little late wrapping our ears around Drug Beard's self titled debut "Drug Beard" as it got a little buried beneath what was a virtual avalanche of quality new releases that hit our desk in the month of October. When "Drug Beard" did raise its gnarly head from that pile however we soon came to the realization that this was an album of equal quality to those it had been languishing under and there was no way we could allow this album to pass us by without penning a few well chosen words on its many merits, so here goes.....
Drug Beard are Jeff Gallagher (guitar,/bass/vocals); Johnny Busher (lead vocals/percussion) and Todd Molinaro (guitar/vocals), a trio from Pennsylvania whose take on doom is one with a heavy leaning towards the trippier end of the genre's spectrum and who are a band with a strong penchant for tongue in cheek song titles. Although there is a certain amount of humour attached to songs with titles like "Hang Gliding With Hawks", "Wall To Wall Satan" and "Hessian Gynecology" the actual songs themselves are played with a stony (or should that read stoned) straight faced seriousness in a style that suggests that the "drug" part of the bands name was not chosen at random. Drug Beard are a band who utilize a low, slow and heavy dynamic with which to frame their songs and they decorate those dynamics in hazy slightly wasted vocal tones, however unlike many of their contemporaries (Sleep for instance), who often toy with aspects of drug culture in their music and image but equally often sound like they are playing it straight in the studio, Drug Beard have a sound that intimates pharmaceuticals may well have played their part in the bands musical processes.
Those that remember simpler times when drugs were often referred to as either "uppers or downers", will recall that music of a heavier nature was often described as "downer rock" well Drug Beard could well be considered as the poster boys for a new wave of "downer rock" We mentioned low, slow and heavy in describing Drug Beard's sonic attack but maybe a better description would be low, slow, heavy and totally off its tits!
Check 'em out ....
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