The images of Moncton, New Brunswick my Google search returned made it seem like a sweet and quaint river town that also has a pretty kick-ass looking water park. While looking at these images I was listening to four of their native sons who make up the stoner punk outfit Diner Drugs and their latest self-titled EP Diner Drugs was shredding the mesh on my speakers. The juxtaposition of image to blaring noise was pretty awesome I must say.
The opener “Bad Books” begins with slow and sludgy guitar bass and drums that after a few bars starts to pick up and then deliver vocals which have that Kurt Cobain rasp but a dash less intense in the department of sounding like a wounded animal. However the rest of “Bad Books” doesn’t sound too far off from something that could have been recorded during the bleach sessions, which is not to say that it sounds like the Nirvana that one knows but rather the Nirvana that became the Nirvana that one knows.
Suffice it to say this late ‘90s madness nicely continues with an even higher intensity on the next track “Flow Chongo” with its sharp choppy bass distorted yet well-constructed and hard to resist melodies. Then comes the dirty-dirty bass riff which opens the five-minute manifesto of rock “Porcelain King,” but as it progresses it definitely cleans up to become something more like the lesser polished version of come out and play, although with more interludes which allow for the stoners to light up while the breakdown happens.
Diner Drugs get down to more serious business, and the singer starts screaming finally on the taut and lovely “Under the Weather” which despite its title is clearly the high point of the record. Here the stoners have probably either pissed their pants in fear or think they’ve wandered into the wrong record. But the raw emotion combined with power chord rock make for the best song on the record.
Oh that and the singer screaming the words “better off dead,” like he means them. A close second is the more radio friendly follow-up “Cocaine For Free.” The band then closes with the more experiment erraticism of “Bacteria” which I found to be loud and infectious.
Diner Drugs is one of those “fuck all” bands that play heavy, fast and dirty rock. They are at their best when their vocalist screams and shouts like he just wants to beat the piss out of everything because he’s so frustrated. It’s not for everyone obviously but to those who love this kinda stuff, myself included, I highly recommend it.
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