Bishop - Drugs (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Drugs (2008)

Dead Truth

The press sheet states: "For fans of Madball, Buried Alive, and Cro-Mags" -- Drugs is one of those albums that you don't really have to hear to know if you're interested or not. Though Bishop play my personal least favorite sub-sub genre of hardcore (NYHC influenced; borderline metal at times), they did surprise me with their varied mixed bag of tempos and subtle riffs.

Now it's fairly easy to dismiss this band -- if you remember, they were once xBishopx -- but the lyrics are hardly straight-edge battle hymns, and instead are far from eloquent, misanthropic rants; when the vocalist, in a metalcore tone, barks, "You weren't shit before you met me" in "Fess Up," it's almost comedic. I may have emitted a chuckle or two. The other vocalist lends some shouts briefly in "Jumper" and "Dimestore Tragedy," which sound a lot less Terror-fied and fortunately much more appealing.

The album starts off with "Homesick and Hellbound" and continues for three tracks of predictable hardcore, but things really pick up with "Big Business" and "Edge of the World." Both tracks show that the band's personal playlists aren't exclusive to New York circa 1993; the former is frantic with blast beats reminiscent to thrash while the latter apes Blacklisted with their southern-fried riffing. Yeah, I just cringed typing "southern" as much as you did reading it. When "Meet Me In Montauk" fades out and you fast-forward a bit, you'll find the secret track...a Saves the Day cover with the chorus actually sung? One may argue this is a failed attempt at trend-hopping with the Four Year Strongs and A Day to Remembers, but their cover of "You Vandal" is executed much better than the aforementioned.

I really expected to hate this based on the artwork alone, but it isn't that bad. A very solid contribution and highly recommended for fans of this tiny sect of hardcore.