I knew of the Drunk Gods from seeing their merchandise in the Hellfire shop, then I got to see them live when they supported Culann on the 17th June. Find that review here http://www.newhellfireclub.co.uk/news/2017/6/22/a-near-five-year-journey-with-culann-june-2017-ct-herron . I was very impressed by Drunk Gods’ sound that night. So now I have on my stereo their album for a Gonzo Division review.
‘What’s Ma Motivation’ and the thundering drums and slashing guitar which is skilfully shredded across the snarling vocals is appealing. It’s one of those sounds that hover between punk and metal. The song is hard-hitting and progressive, might as well get that word out the way right now because progressive is the best description for the Drunk Gods, whatever genre you stick after it.
I guess it is a little more metal than punk, there is hints and shades of classic ‘heavy metal’ like Iron Maiden and the ilk in there. Lots of pleasant melody, but with a sinister undercurrent. The drumming is skilful and forceful and gives it a strong pillar round which to wrap.
‘Fuck Buddy (The Heart is Just a Muscle)’ is a visceral, anti-quixotic “love” song. A bitter rage of a tune, gloriously so. The screaming, deafening breakdown in the middle of ‘Fuck. Me. Now! Fuck. Me. Now!’ is brilliantly angst-ridden and the outro is almost darkly psychedelic. A flagship track for sure!
There’s a post-punk/industrial-metal vibe running like electricity through the core of the album, bringing it to life like Frankenstein’s monster, and that’s the kind of wonderfully macabre feel of the vocal deliverance and the brooding atmospheric, sometimes ominous backdrop.
‘People Make Ma Head Hurt’ was very unexpected when it came on. A very Ramones-influenced track, surf-punk almost, or more like serf punk. I love it almost immediately, the scatty vocals are brilliant and the grinding rhythm chewing out the bubble gum riffs carries the whole thing along in an explosive cacophony of classic-punk-rock-and-roll.
Back to the distinctive, creeping, daunting intro that has become familiar, which takes us into the next drunk offering to the gods, ‘Repossession’. It’s took us from a Ramones to a more Buzzcocks kind of feel, escalating into a paranoia-induced slice of fear. I love the way the tracks always dissolve into a breakdown before crashing back in in a whole new direction. Each song is a roller coaster ride for your ears.
A vitriolic stab at consumerism and capitalism in ‘Consumption’. There’s some true instrumental virtuoso woven throughout this record and solid lyricism, “Consumption made you feel smaller, consumption made you act taller, consumption rode ye harder, consumption pushed your head under”. The riff right at the end in the last few seconds was so good you could make a whole other song out of it. Lots of stuff going on in a Drunk Gods album, I’m definitely going to have to give it a second listen just to wrap my head around it.
There’s always a cool array of effects and overlaid guitars that make the sound very unique, and a magnificent riot at times too. Each song is a few different songs in one and every great riff is tossed aside for another even greater riff, a very frenetic pace that really works well to keep you focused on the music.
Six-minute masterpiece ‘Kill Me’ is another standout track, but there are a good few in this audio soup. There’s always some kind of cool, clever outro, and more bridges than Venice in each slice of aural chaos. Ewan’s vocals give the songs a homegrown Scottish slant, not afraid to lay the slang on thick, but it doesn’t mar the album in any way, in fact it gives it an even more antagonistic tone that matches the aggressive vibe.
‘Dirty Honey’ ends the punk/metal/prog opus with a bit of grunge, revisiting themes of sex, lust and depravation. Every time you think it’s over it reels you back in and slams you against the wall again, and that’s a reoccurring experience you’ll get when listening to the oeuvre of the Drunk Gods.
Ewan McGhee is the musical architect behind everything; the songs, the lyrics, the instruments, the vocs and even the artwork and photos all being conceived by his own batshit genius. That makes it all the more impressive, that all this incredible stuff came out of one mind. I am truly, massively impressed by his work, it didn’t grab me straight away, but by track three I was hooked. Now I’ll be putting it right back to the beginning again, because as the last guitar fade ebbs out I’m thinking, “man, that was seriously fucking good! Some ride! What just happened?”.
I’m definitely recommending this album, to anyone, but particularly if you’re a fan of punk, prog, post-punk, industrial, metal, heavy rock, experimental stuff or just really fucking good music. Absolutely one of the best rock albums I’ve heard in a good while. So I’ll see ya soon, drunk, in the pit, with the Gods, drinking their manna!