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4 out of 5 skulls
March 26, 2014 |

Drugs of Faith Architectural Failures

As noted in a review of Drugs of Faith’s 2011 debut, Corroded, the band sounds nothing like lead man Richard Johnson’s other endeavor — Agoraphobic Nightmare for the uninitiated. Sure, there are grind elements here, but also a heaping pile of sludgy noise rock and punk. It’s a sound that sort of defies convention in a genre that is, well, convention-less.

Architectural Failures is the band’s first material since their debut and it’s anything but a failure. Gritty, rolling and, at times, furious, the four tracks on this EP are distinct yet carry a measure of cohesion as Johnson and crew (Ethan on drums and bassist Taryn) rumble their way through burly bass lines, driving rhythms and squelching guitars. “The Incumbent” gets things off to a raucous start with enough bass to crumble the capital building as Johnson barks his message. The track isn’t all just “go,” however, as there is a good bit of ebb and flow to the song.

“Insanity” is a bone crunchy track with a classic bit of riffage and mammoth bass work, as the steady drums set the pace nicely. There’s a good bit of noise rock influence at play with this song that adds a nice dimension to the band’s presence right before they go into a full-on maelstrom of buzzing guitars and bass. “Paper Trails” has a solid groove that will have you nodding along absentmindedly as the bass rolls along. The song throws you for a loop with a soft bit of acoustic guitar just after the first minute has passed. Have no fear though, shit devolves pretty quickly as all three members come together in a surge of reverb, staggered drums and rumbling bass.

Closing track “Placing Bets” is the most grind-y of the four offered on Architectural Failures. The song sounds like it’s collapsing in upon itself the entire time, hellbent on burying you under a wall of noise and angst. It wraps up a pretty darn solid EP nicely. There’s just something about the sound of the unassuming looking Drugs of Faith that is just addictive. The band’s music is gritty, raw, unconventional and, yet, still has structure and direction and meaning. It’s a mighty combination that, so far, has served them well.

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