Review / Drug Victim – Mongrel

Six minutes. That is all it takes for Plymouth powerviolence merchants Drug Victim to steamroll through their latest EP and pummel the listener in the face, shaking you in a way you won’t forget in a hurry.  In true powerviolence fashion the quartet have squeezed as much intensity and ferocious energy into the seven short tracks which make up Mongrel.

The trouble that bands playing this fast can sometimes encounter is a case of blink and you’ll miss it, but with Drug Victim it feels like their music isn’t fast for the sake of being fast, everything seems to be thought out and structured in a specific way. The record opens with a indication of how the next six minutes are going to go with a galloping floor tom roll before vocalist Chris White screams out the word “bruise” over and over. 

When the band bursts into ‘Bolt Cutter’ it is the distorted guitar riff which leads the song before pace really takes over and the blastbeats kick in to give the song an extra bit of kick. With this brand of punk music there is a danger of things sounding sloppy, whether that is by design or just down to style, but in Drug Victim’s case it feels like every riff, lyric, groove and drum beat is carefully crafted and weaved into this brutal tapestry. 

Rather than this being an all out assault on your ears, which can sometimes be the case with powerviolence bands, Drug Victim have constructed this EP in a way that it may check marks for hardcore punk fans. You want gang vocals? You got it. You want a bit to two-step? Sure that’s in there. You want blastbeats? There are plenty. You want to mosh? That’s certainly catered for. 

It may not be long in stature, but Mongrel packs so much punch into such a short space of time that your head will be rattled by the thought of what you have just listened to, and compelled to immediately revisit it to make sure you really did just experience what you thought you did.

Mongrel is out 10th August on Crew Cuts, Blind Rage (US), Angry x Hungry (Spain) and Boslevan Records.

Words: Tim Birkbeck