Allusondrugs @ The Library 27/11
Stumbling into the Library’s medium sized venue I had no idea what to expect. Having only briefly skimmed Allusondrugs’ discography I was not particularly familiar with their music and worried that that I wouldn’t be able to tap into the band’s vibe. Fortunately, as I was plunged into Allusondrugs’ glorious wave of distortion and spiralling vocals on their first song, my fears were swiftly allayed. Lurking at the back of the crowd, I allowed myself to bask in the band’s sheer noise – a compelling mix of hard rock and psychedelia strung together with irresistibly catchy riffs that dance in and out of a relentless drum beat. It was to this beat to which my head began to bob, and I found myself caught between self-consciousness and the increasingly strong desire to join the enthusiastic and the pissed at the front of the stage moshing. Resisting this temptation of potential social embarrassment I observed the band members themselves. Allusondrugs’ front man did indeed look like a reincarnation of a certain dead rock star, but his style was solidly his own, focusing on the singing and occasionally bouncing around whipping his hair in a theatrical manner. The guitarists appeared to play competently, but to be honest the intricacy of any particular progression was drowned out by the drummer’s seemingly fanatical obsession with hitting his kit as hard as he could. The overpowered drums however only became evident when I re-listened to a few of their tracks back home and found a wealth of detail (including actual lyrics!) which I had missed live, which is a bit of a shame considering how it elevates Allusondrugs from just another rock band to something far more interesting. The songs ‘Am I Weird’ and ‘Sunset Yellow’ clearly stand out for their more unique style and are better for it, cultivating a distinct Allusondrugs sound in contrast to ‘I Should Have Gone to Uni’ which although good, has a suspiciously reminiscent grungy riff. But, in regards to their live performance, it was enjoyable and breath of fresh air after having to suffer the legions of indie bands who shied away from distortion and the predictable (I call it catchy) of these recent years. At the end of the show they were even selling cupcakes, a bit jarring after a rock gig but undeniably tasty. It would be all too easy to simply categorize them as Nirvana on acid (and not entirely unjustified) but every so often there is a glimpse of the truly beautiful and unique amidst Allusondrugs’ swirling choruses, a form of psychedelic artistic expression that I sincerely hope they continue to refine. Only then will they be able to cast off the shadow of their 90’s predecessors. Until such a day, they’re still a great band and definitely worthy of a gig night out and a listen!