I swore off checking D.R.U.G.S. on Facebook and Twitter a few weeks back; after slow-playing the announcement of each member, constant updates on items of national security (including Craig Owens‘ newly bleached hair and slap-pong matches with producer John Feldman) and other kinds of nonsense, I refused to care until the band released a track. As promised a few days ago via an interesting teaser video, we received our wish at 11:11 am in the form of “If You Think This Song Is About You, It Probably Is,” their first released song. To sweeten the pot, the track is available for free download.
After members of Underminded, From First To Last, Matchbook Romance, and Story Of The Year were drafted to complete the new band, it was clear what direction D.R.U.G.S. were headed; strong, solid rock that lean into post-hardcore, but without the stigmas of the genre. “If You Think…” accurately displays everyone’s influence into a cohesive, well-rounded song.
Opening up with rim tapping into a strong riff is simple enough. The music drops, bringing in Owens’ signature soft vocals the scene has been missing. As with the leaked Chiodos demo “Thermacare” earlier this year, it appears Craig’s vocals have improved greatly. Gone is the whine and weak notes we’re familiar with, in favor of slightly deeper and more pronounced singing that is greatly appreciated
The riffage here is solid. Nothing mind-blowing, but it accents the vocals nicely. The chorus is fast in both melody and music, which works from Craig’s melody and drummer Aaron Stern’s backbone. We also hear some of the best screams ever from a Craig Owens track, though it is unclear if he performed them or if guitarist Nick Martin handled the duties.
Probably the biggest twist here is the programming in the second verse. Blips and bloops are sprinkled generously throughout the section, along with some fun electronic drum mods. Shockingly, it fits without distracting from the song. Credit these to Feldman, since I don’t recognize any of the D.R.U.G.S. members as having experience with programming.
Just like that, it’s over. “If You Think…” clocks in at just over 2 and a half minutes, short by any gauge, though serving as the perfect teaser. Despite doubts, it looks like D.R.U.G.S. is going to be the rebirth of Craig Owens rather than the death so many predicted.
To download free of charge, head over to the band’s Facebook page.