In Rear-View: Common Drugs by Skull Drug

Although this pandemic has taken so much from so many of us, there is one thing that I think we can all agree on. We’ve had some seriously rad music released and Skull Drug’s latest

Although this pandemic has taken so much from so many of us, there is one thing that I think we can all agree on. We’ve had some seriously rad music released and Skull Drug’s latest six track EP is no exception. On October 2nd, this Phoenix based band dropped Common Drugs, which delivers gravelly vocals paired with perfectly contrasting clean instrumentals. Along with that, its commentary on the lack of transparency within our government. 

Simply titled “Intro,” dips our toes into heavy guitar and aggressive vocals found throughout this EP. Although only 16 seconds long, it sets up their anti-government theme and grabs the attention of the listener.

After our quick introduction, we’re presented with the title track. “Common Drugs” elaborates on the idea of “protecting those on the outside” with critiques on how consumerism and media works in part to spoon-feed the public the unobtainable idea of comfort which exists only for the most powerful government officials.

Next on the tracklist is “Tick Talk.” Here we are given a glimpse into the one thing that everyone desires: control. Even without consciously realizing it, everything we do is controlled by governing bodies. Everyday people struggle to reclaim this autonomy over ourselves, knowing it’s not always easy to outsmart our oppressors, so we seek to control others. 

Painted” is my personal favorite. The lyrics of this song read like the resurfacing of a traumatic memory and it’s riddled with the writer’s gentle seethe of rage and regret. These thoughts become more frequent and more twisted, displaying themselves in a disgusting museum of the mind. 

The second to last track on this album, “Prose for Fucking Cons,” scratches the idea of rugged individualism in lyrics. The hook, “Killing to live, dying to win,” tells us just how the government, who swears to serve us, actually shows blatant disregard for human value. When we try to fight back against being used as trading cards, they have more reason to attempt to oppress us. When we are all turned against each other, nobody is paying attention to the real enemy. 

Asthenia” blatantly puts the entire album into layman’s terms and closes it out. “Your government and God won’t save you.” All hope is lost for us. We are trapped under a veil of lies and the need for personal comfort. The same theme of ‘us-versus-them’ trickles into this song. It makes clear that we cannot trust our government and that they have effectively divided our nation. 

This album is a perfect exhibition of Skull Drug’s insane talent. One can only hope they continue to grow and continue playing, because we can all use more informative music like this in our lives. I know I can confidently say that I’ll be listening to Common Drugs until we get another taste of this band! I seriously suggest you check out this EP and their prior releases for yourself. I think you just might fall in love with their sound.

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