Allusondrugs Take Us Higher Than Ever
Recent Subba-Cultcha 'New Artist of the Day' darlings showcase their amazing live show...
“I am original/I am the best” coos Allusondrugs’ singer Jason Moules wistfully on ‘Sunset Yellow’, a track we’re told is inspired by Scottish soft drink staple Irn-Bru. You’d never guess the drink made from girders could take a song to such emotional depths, and it’s a rare softer moment in Allusondrugs’ otherwise hard hitting set, one which allows the flailing spectacle that is the Castleford five-piece live to take a backseat to the group’s distinct knack for writing killer rock chops.
“Secret recipe I’ll never know” Moules continues a few lines later. Much like the ingredients of that fizzy elixir (other soft drinks are available), the wealth of influences behind Allusondrugs’ dynamic sound is a venerable head-scratcher. They once said the best way to describe it would be as having “the head of Simply Red, the neck of Nirvana, the shoulders of Deftones, the belly of Pixies, the sexual organs of Placebo, the legs of My Bloody Valentine and the feet of Sonic Youth.” Lazy journalism ensures that quote is forever embedded into future articles, but with good reason – it really does lend the best overall impression of the band’s sound; a sound that’s bound to find them all manner of crossover success.
The aforementioned ‘Sunset Yellow’ will keep the emo kids happy, while the pop-punk harmonies and power chord riffage of songs like ‘Ted, What’s The Porn Like In Heaven?’ will likely give the band the best chance of radio exposure (though, unlikely with a name like that). Things get positively shoegazey on ‘Plasters’, evoking the sound of early Ride on a track that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Alan McGee’s Creation Records roster, and ‘Stir’ lays the sludgy guitars of Deftones/Nirvana et al on thick. You get a real impression of creative equity among the group, each member bringing their individual influences along and adding them to the melting pot.
The music itself would be more than adequate even without the astonishing live show; an incredible dynamic that really must be seen to be believed. The fact the room is only half full doesn’t get in the way of the band’s energy, and tonight Bar 1:22 is blasted through their 30-minute set with only a hint of a pause for water. Hydration breaks are to be forgiven considering Moules spends the entire time seemingly trying to shake his head from his shoulders as he bounds around the first few rows of the crowd.
He delivers his vocal from this now trademark vantage point (part Cobain mop-top, part hip shakin’ Iggy Pop posturing) while his band throw themselves across the stage with reckless abandon; in yer face but never in-your-face. It’s a heady mix of aggression and all encompassing fun which can at no point be mistaken for alienating arrogance; the focus of attention shifting accordingly to the musicians onstage during the instrumental sections. It’s almost as if they’ve been at it for years…
Relative newcomer Jamal wrestles the technical issues from his bass before throwing up sarcastic thumbs, while guitarist Damo stomps at his fuzz-boxes so hard it sends shockwaves juttering up the shins of the front row. That he ends the set by hurling his mic stand and swinging his guitar through a field of feedback while screeching incoherently at the top of his lungs give you some idea as to the chaos you’re in for when you attend an Allusondrugs show.
2014 looks to be a promising year for Allusondrugs. Rough rehearsal footage uploaded to YouTube suggests new material that’s looking to put steel toe caps on those Sonic Youth feet, and with a live show this obtusely unhinged (and a workhorse touring schedule to boot), there’s really no excuse not to be witness to the bedlam.