Every time I hear the words “plague ship,” I’m reminded of the Public Enemy song “Can’t Truss It,” even though they are saying “slave ship.” Anyway, I’m finally getting around to giving El Drugstore some due respect. I mean, it’s only been almost 15 months since they dropped their debut full-length ‘Plague Ship’ back on December 31st, 2013. The fact that I’ve waited this long is a sin, in fact it’s a crime.
My first taste of New Jersey’s El Drugstore came back in 2011 when I came across their split EP with label mates A Fucking Elephant. I knew then that they were something special. The band consists of three guys, guitarist Kevin Conway (ex-East of the Wall), drummer Seth Rheam (East of the Wall) and bassist Rolando Alvarado. Together this trio creates a freakishly hyper blend of sonic instrumental goodness.
From the opening chords of “Tell Them I Said Something,” to the closing seconds of “Steakback,” there is an immediate underlying sense of urgency to El Drugstore’s music. Even when things slow down a bit, as heard on “Hipster Tits,” that same sense of urgency can still be felt. But it is not a sense of urgency accompanied by panic, it’s more like “my heart is pounding really fast, but I’m ok. It’s all good.”
The frenzied pace at which El Drugstore play makes it feel like they are always trying to catch up. “Enthusiastic Corruption of the Public Good” and “Fascinating Underpants” are perfect examples of this. Catch up to what, I do not know. Maybe themselves. Whatever it is, it keeps El Drugstore on their toes, and the listener on the edge of their chair. It is impossible to not tap your feet and play air drums while listening to ‘Plague Ship’.
Label: Nefarious Industries
Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 12/31/2013
Band info: Facebook