Review : Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows - D.R.U.G.S.
AbsolutepunkDrama doesn’t follow Craig Owens, it rides on his back. Arguably the most polarizing figure in the scene today, you either love him or hate him – no one sits on the fence with this guy. There are always going to be people who think his former band, Chiodos, is better without him, and vice versa. But this isn’t going to be a review where we compare his new band, Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows, to his old band, or a review about what people think of him. Instead we’re going to focus on how his band’s debut album, D.R.U.G.S., is a step in the right direction for the new Craig Owens.
Owens has always been a multi-tasker when it comes to his music. He’s been involved in various side projects throughout the years, and while he may have spread himself too thin at times, he has always possessed a high creative energy. With Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows, Owens really zones in on this particular creative outlet and made it as personal as could be. He recruited his friends (Matt Good, Aaron Stern, Nick Martin, and Adam Russell) to round the band and enlisted John Feldmann to run the boards. The result is a fiery debut album that, despite a couple of missteps, finds a way to balance pop and aggression. Opener “If You Think This Song Is About You, It Probably Is” is the first indication of that balance, as an infectious chorus is buoyed between rapid fire guitar licks, electronic blips and glitches, and Owens’ dynamic screams. The whole D.R.U.G.S. array is packed nicely in that two and half minute opener, but they also let it breathe throughout the album, specifically on the huge-sounding “Mr. Owl Ate My Metal Worm.”
What may really take back some fans is how catchy/poppy this album is. Maybe people were expecting something heavier (and trust me, we do get some heavy parts. More on that later), so when songs like the Tim Burton-esque “Graveyard Dancing” show up, some fans won’t know how to react. The aforementioned “Mr. Owl Ate My Metal Worm” features a captivating bridge, while “I’m Here To Take The Sky” flows in the vein of Cinematic Sunrise (another one of Owens’ projects).
Don’t fret too much however, because there is still a lot of rage on this album, particularly on the vengeful “The Only Thing You Talk About” (or more famously known as the reworked “Thermacare). Featuring artillery-ready guitar riffs from Good and Martin (not to mention Stern, who absolutely kills the kit throughout), the track absolutely slays from the very beginning to the massive breakdown towards the end. Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows also flexes their muscles on tracks like “Stop Reading, Start Doing Pushups” and “I’m The Rehab, You’re The Drugs.” The best however is saved for last, as Martin shares screaming duties with Owens on the pulverizing final track, “My Swagger Has A First Name.”...full text
BlaremagazineCraig Owens is an eternal fountain of creative output. From Cinematic Sunrise to Isles & Glaciers to his part in the toxic entity The Sound Of Animals Fighting, it’s strenuous to receive D.R.U.G.S. as a separate project, one to push Owens out of the gloom and doom of the Chiodos fiasco and into a brighter setting. Throw in the backing band (Matt Good, Nick Martin, Aaron Stern and Adam Russell) and the label indicates lethal doses from all ends of the post-hardcore spectrum will hit you, hard. If only dancing into pop rock’s bleak, deteriorating world did that.
Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows have the genetics of a revolutionary. In its premature form, the all-star cast is a replica of trying to get your past three exes, your current beau and the American Apparel eye candy on your radar to re-enact your most-prized fantasy. The unconscious idea of it all is blinding (“Laminated E.T. Animal”) but once put into action, there’s nothing except chatter about love, loss and should-have-seen-it-coming heartbreak (“Graveyard Dancing”). Even the most impartial won’t be able to consume a second shot of track #5. Owens and co. connect with a vicious nature only on occasion, letting desperation and a thirst for the mainstream pollute the ode to the simple ferocity that beautified discs such as In Love And Death....full text
PunkmusicWhen Craig Owens' abrupt departure from Chiodos was announced in September, it left a gap that ruffled a lot of feathers. For many, Chiodos was Craig Owens, and his absence was noticed by many longtime fans. Now, with the much-anticipated arrival of D.R.U.G.S., Owens' new project, the question is poised to be answered - was Chiodos Owens? Will his new project carry the weight and prove his necessity?
The answer is an unequivocal "maybe."
If Owens was out to prove a point and make his presence a pre-established necessity, he could have done much worse than the lineup he chose for D.R.U.G.S., which is a veritable who's who among post-hardcore lineage, consisting of Nick Martin (Underminded, Cinematic Sunrise, Isles & Glaciers), Matt Good (From First to Last), Aaron Stern (Matchbook Romance) and Adam Russell (Story of the Year). Whether he's seeking to prove a point with his former bandmates or simply seeking to align himself with a powerhouse band, he's accomplished both.
And it seems like maybe he is seeking to make a point, or at least establish his feelings with Chiodos, as the album opens with the very pointed “If You Think This Song Is About You, It Probably Is,” with a message heavily oriented toward his former bandmates when he belts out "today was the day you tried to shut me down," and pointedly lays it out with "you left me hanging in a room with a noose and a chair" (Listen/Download). The sheer aggression is devoid of melodrama; Owens wants to address the situation and air his grievances.
This lack of subtlety plays out repeatedly throughout the album, both lyrically and musically. Songs like "Stop Reading, Start Doing Pushups" might continue to address Owens' former bandmates with the lines:
I may have more sensitivity than talents But I, I will be the king of my world And thank God that I’ll never be you. (Listen/Download)
And even if it's not, it's some solid aggression toward past slights, and songs like "The Only Thing You Talk About (Thermacare)" (Listen/Download) and "Mr. Owl Ate My Metal Worm" (Listen/Download) present Owens dropping his vocal bombs in front of a solid artillery line of a band who deliver precisely-placed instrumental bullets from all sides....full text
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