A horrible hack

Drunk Dad

Ripper Killer

Year Released: 2014
Format: LP
Label: Eolian Empire
Reviewed by Emile Bojesen on Sep 19, 2014
Alex reviewed Drunk Dad’s EP out on Eolian last year and called it ‘a big stupid horrible thing.’ He also highly recommended it. Drunk Dad seem to have dropped the ‘stupid’ and settled for the ‘big’ and ‘horrible.’ In fact, they are actually much bigger and much more horrible, partly because their songs have become more dynamic. While the EP was sludgier and more straightforward, the LP has got the taught, angular venom of bands like 400 Blows and Hammerhead. This record twists and turns, letting you rest for a little while on melancholy apathetic grungey vocals and lounging melodies, only to crush you under a barrage of bass-led screaming violence a second later. The only superfluity is in slightly pointless passage of noise the second to last track, ‘Worthless’ but that’s partly because the songs-proper are so good that you don’t want to waste your time on it. However, it also gives a slightly false sense of importance to the last song, ‘Whiskey Liver,’ which is more than good enough for the album and verges ever so close to being a genuine anthem but – especially after the noise of the previous track has gone to the effort of clearing the space for it - ultimately falls a little short.

This is probably one of the only things I’ve ever heard which reminds me of Love 666’s ‘American Revolution,’ both in terms of how its nastiness is based partly on how little it gives a shit about your existence, as much as how it often sits on the very darkest edge of more commercial grunge and indie. I’m not sure ‘Ripper Killer’ is quite the classic that is but this is definitely in the same league. It’s utterly horrible and totally brilliant. It also doesn’t sound like it’s just going through the motions like so many bands who fall inside the sludgerock idiom. There’s real tension here as well as a thematic complexity which adds to the paralysing force of this debut LP which I would be extremely surprised not to see on a tonne of end of year lists. Probably best enjoyed in a damp bedroom with warm beer and prescription drugs that are well past their sell by date.

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