Milwaukee's Drugs Dragons release new 7"

Categories: 7-inch Review
Drugs Dragons (Dusty Medical).jpg
Dusty Medical Records
Usually when you don't know what speed to play a record, it's not a good sign. But with "I Hate Rat People," the second release from Milwaukee's Drugs Dragons, the whole thing comes shrouded in mystery. It arrived in a photocopied, collage-art white sleeve and, upon closer inspection, there was a handwritten "33" scrawled on the one-sided record's label with a ballpoint pen. The B-side is utterly blank.

So who are Drugs Dragons? They are sludgy acid rock out of Milwaukee. The four-piece mixes the traditional guitar/bass/drums to blend prime Butthole Surfers with the creepy carnival atmosphere of Richard Elfman's Forbidden Zone. The repetition and minimalism bear a similarity to Flipper, but the nihilism is replaced by a haunting, surreal vibe. The titular song consists mostly of the title being repeated ad nauseam while Luke Chappelle's voice is run through a series of distorting effects. As the song plays, I picture a silent movie in which a group of people in gaudy rat masks playfully chase a terrified subject in circles.

"Cold Controls" follows the same pattern and the two songs blend together seamlessly with the largest difference being the chanted, echo-chamber vocals and a more drawn out tempo, sounding something like "Rat People" slowed down by serious depressants. Zach Chappelle's bass is drawn out and repetitive while Tony Sagger's guitars are noodling and unfocused, yet contained enough to maintain the aura of a bad trip.

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