Song/video debut: Drugs of Faith – “Insanity”

The more time I spend writing about music, the more often I find myself pointing to tactical — rather than artistic — factors when I try to explain why certain bands get popular and other bands don’t. Perhaps that’s because people’s tastes tend to get ever more specific as they age and soak up new material, or perhaps I’m just a contrarian.

Either way, tactical factors are the only explanation I can come up with for Drugs of Faith’s relative obscurity. Drugs of Faith is the current main project of Rich Johnson, the former Enemy Soil guitarist/Send Back My Stamps! interviewer and current Agoraphobic Nosebleed vocalist. Judging strictly by the quality of their music, they should have a much larger following than they do. Their amalgam of grind, noise rock, and hardcore is both extremely caustic and fun to listen to, which is a rare combination. Their 2011 album Corroded was my favorite album that year, and it has aged well — also a rarity for newer grind/hardcore albums, in my experience.

So why aren’t Drugs of Faith more popular? I can only imagine that it has something to do with the fact that they rarely tour, and that they generally do things in their own way and at their own pace. Of course, lots of bands become quite popular without touring at all, but touring certainly helps to force the issue. On the other hand, extended or unsuccessful touring creates pressures that have shattered many bands. These guys have been around for ten years; perhaps they’ve lasted for so long despite their limited popularity because of their minimal exposure to the vicissitudes of touring life. Or maybe they’re just stubborn.

Drugs of Faith have a new ’single-sided LP’ (uh, okay) called Architectural Failures coming out next month. We’ve debuted a music video from “Insanity,” its second song, below. The video itself doesn’t bring anything to the table in a narrative sense; it’s just footage of three normal-looking people rocking out onstage. The song rips, though, and that’s the part I care about. “Insanity” is pretty much more of the same approach that Drugs of Faith took on Corroded. That’s a good thing — the gravelly rhythm section pushes Johnson’s exuberantly nasty guitar work forward at a fast trot for most of the song, before exploding into a frenetic blast at a crucial moment.

Architectural Failures will come out via Malokul in early/mid-November.

— Doug Moore