Drug Church - Hit Your Head (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Drug Church

Hit Your Head (2015)

No Sleep

By now, after listening to so much Self Defense Family as well as Drug Church, it's clear where Pat Kindlon's strengths lie. Not as a vocalist, because both bands allow him the opportunity for his style of howls and word-speak, but as a driving force which the musical ambition of the band's built around. SDF has gotten too artsy for their own good, even a bit too pretentious (which isn't always a bad thing) but after Swell and Paul Walker, I can safely say Drug Church is where Kindlon feels relevant as a storyteller once more. Look no further than Hit Your Head for this. It fits his chaotic inner-fits where his anxious tendencies and idiosyncrasies spill over.

The creeping dread of SDF has worn thin with Drug Church suiting Kindlon to a tee as they mix so many genres together. You've got the restless yet direct hardcore-punk of "Aleister" complemented by the dirtier, more guitar-aggressive "Aging Jerk" which not only focuses on less complex lyrics and a more cohesive brand of storytelling but is propped with bits of melody and a sense of rhythm. "Bagged" and "Green Like Me" echo these sentiments, but in a more grunge-worthy manner fit for '90s freaks.  Kindlon implicates himself into so many personal stories that it's hard to realize when he's suggesting otherwise, pointing fingers at the outside world, but this is the gauge where he judges reality by. Not SDF which seems more ethereal and yes, surreal. Drug Church feels like his moral compass and conscious as opposed to his POV.

As "Hit Your Head, Greedy" with its start-stop narrative helps park the album, you can't deny how cerebral it is. A fully charged affair that mixes the art and uneasiness of past Drug Church records so well. A bit of filler but it's worth a couple listens. The spoken word anthem "What" detracts a lot at the end but by the time you establish some semblance of anti-climax with Hit Your Head, it would have already left a lasting impression. And a strong one at that.