Review Summary: "The perfect record to listen to as you skate home from your night shift cleaning up puke in the bathroom of a Steak & Shake."
Drug Church are angry and they don’t attempt to hide it. Paul Walker is the band’s newest full-length, and it offers little over twenty-five minutes of raw, 80s driven hardcore.
It’s evident from album opener ‘Thinking About Joining Drug Church’ that the band wastes absolutely no time in celebrating the fact that their lives are going nowhere. Vocalist Patrick Klindon of Self Defence Family fame delivers his depressing, but amusing lyrics in a very horse yet vicious yell, definitely a throwback to the old-school hardcore records of yesteryear. It’s surprising too - with the backdrop of punk instead of a Self Defence Family song; you may never even guess Klindon was behind the mic.
Musically Paul Walker is somewhere between Black Flag, Nervous Breakdown-era and Nirvana’s early material with raucous songs drenched in feedback and fuzz that often last mere minutes. The band’s execution is absolutely fantastic, making Paul Walker engaging throughout its runtime which, whilst leaning towards the short side, fits the album so well. Many bands claim that their recorded material is reflective of their live show, but this is true for so few. On the other hand, Drug Church make this more than believable – the band’s use of feedback as well as an incredibly raw and potent guitar tone drenched in layers of fuzz result in ten songs made for a live setting.
The songs are fairly straightforward throughout, which, while repetitive (as with most punk records) still makes for a fairly fun and entertaining twenty-six minutes. Both riffs and basslines are often memorable throughout, especially on tracks such as Attending A Cousin’s Birthday Party, Learning To Speak British and Thrill Hill, the latter of which opens with a clean arpeggio pattern before descending into a mid-tempo ode to failure with Klindon offering some of the best lyrics on the album.
It’s a shame that there aren’t more bands blasting through songs in the same raw and uncompromising manner that Drug Church are. Klindon celebrates failure in a way which, for listeners, is both entertaining and openly morbid. Fiery in delivery, Paul Walker is unbridled anger at its best, and is “the perfect record to listen to as you skate home from your night shift cleaning up puke in the bathroom of a Steak & Shake,” as the band puts it.