Everyone’s favourite punk rock agitators, Drug Church, have returned. Today the Albany/Los Angeles-based band announced Tawny: a new four-song EP due out June 25th from Pure Noise Records that acts as a bridge from their 2018 LP, Cheer, to Drug Church‘s impending fourth full-length. Cheer was acclaimed by both fans and critics alike (including praise from the likes of Stereogum, Noisey, Revolver, BrooklynVegan, and more), and with Tawny the band push their blend of hardcore aggression and massive, ’90s-indebted hooks even further.
Drug Church have also shared the EP’s title track, a towering wall of heavy guitars and pummeling drums with an anthemic climax that hints at the band’s ever-expanding songwriting toolbox. Never one to flinch at the darker corners of the human condition, vocalist Patrick Kindlon’s lyrics remain as vitriolic as ever. “People are so happy to not be in the guillotine, they’ll cheer at anyone else’s execution,” he says. “I’ve about had it with that.”
Tawny is comprised of Drug Church‘s crushing 2020 single “Bliss Out,” a cover of Arcwelder’s “Remember To Forget,” and two brand new songs, “Tawny” and “Head-Off,” which feature some of the band’s most dynamic songwriting to date. The tracks build on the most melodic moments of Cheer without losing any of the bite and energy that has made Drug Church so appealing to fans of heavy and catchy music alike. “Head-Off” opens the EP and immediately makes it clear that the band aren’t content to rest on their laurels. The song begins with a driving beat from drummer Chris Villeneuve while guitarists Nick Cogan and Cory Galusha weave unexpectedly shimmering guitar lines overtop of Pat Wynne’s propulsive bass; even Kindlon’s customary roar has taken a turn, with layered vocals and the singer’s cadences at their most instantly hooky. All of these melodic moments only serve to make Drug Church‘s sound even more combustable, and “Head-Off” and “Tawny” both erupt into immensely satisfying blasts of powerhouse guitars and Kindlon’s sardonic bark.
The EP closes with Drug Church‘s taut rendition of the Arcwelder song “Remember To Forget,” which again highlights the band’s growing melodicism while also nodding to their willingness to carry the torch for stubbornly outsider guitar music. “You don’t need to be the world’s best band to write a perfect song,” Kindlon says. “Arcwelder are guys who like playing guitar music. They had some small success at it. Still, this song has been in my head for a long time. And that’s a type of success that doesn’t get measured. We’re all gonna be erased when the sun expands. Chasing fame makes you dumber than you are.”
Tawny is just the beginning of the surprises Drug Church have up their sleeve, and luckily, with LP4 coming soon, listeners won’t have to wait long to hear more.