Album Review: School Drugs - Modern Medicine
The New Jersey punk rock scene has always been prevalent and very diverse with bands like The Bouncing Souls, None More Black, and Lifetime – to name a few. However, there’s also always been a hardcore presence bubbling underneath the surface in the Northeast. With their latest LP Modern Medicine, New Jersey hardcore group School Drugs gives us a 10-song/20-minute romp that blends the classic sound of traditional hardcore with just enough of their own touches to give it a modern appeal. The guitars that open the album on title track “Modern Medicine,” drag you to spitfire vocals that beginning spewing out lyrics that expose the lies medicine sells you as they try to convince you it’ll make you feel better – a very topical subject for today’s medicated generation. But it’s with the second song on the album, “Pathetic Desperate,” that School Drugs gives us speed in the guitars and vocals that deliver the hardcore style we’re most accustom to; the signatures they carry throughout the rest of the album. Guitar fueled energy pulls you through songs such as “Nervous Eyes” and “Validation,” frantic vocals carry you through the anxious lyrics of everything around you changing for the worse by staying the same on “Nothing Grows,” and the group takes a political turn on “Gimme Doubt” as they challenge the listener to stop being a mindless drone and to start questioning everything; your world, your life, the voices from the other side, etc. School Drugs gives us the kind of crunchy hardcore that we used to see emerge from the basement shows that you had to be in the know to even know about. Modern Medicine is everything that a true, hardcore album should be. It’s quick and to the point, it’s angry, political, and raw and honest while unapologetically hitting on topics that are sometimes taboo and delivering the big FU attitude on every song.