Over six years, several EPs, and two full-length albums, Drug Church – Patrick Kindlon (vocals), Nick Cogan (guitar), Cory Galusha (guitar), Pat Wynne (bass), and Chris Villeneuve (drums) – have earned a cult following by making outsider music that’s as thoughtful as it is hard hitting. Their sound is a crushing mix of hardcore energy, ‘90s alternative melodicism, and Kindlon’s signature sing-shout.
On Cheer, this means recognizing the band’s strengths and amplifying them into something new. Whereas some of the band’s previous work had more clearly delineated heavy songs and catchy songs, Cheer combines it all to great effect. Galusha and Cogan’s riffs deftly move from pummeling to playful while Wynne and Villeneuve provide more than enough heft to compel the headbangers.
Songs like “Unlicensed Guidance Counselor,” “Conflict Minded,” and “Tillary” are easily the most overtly melodic of the band’s career, and even Kindlon’s vocals take a more tuneful bent that often contrasts with his dark, cutting lyrics.