KUMD Album Review: Drugdealer

Oct 12, 2016

Drugdealer | The End of Comedy

Often one wouldn’t know they wanted an album like Drugdealer’s debut The End of Comedy. It takes one or two front-to- back listens to realize that this album, an amalgam of classic psychedelic riffs, jazz, and alternative rock, is exactly where you wanted the new age of “make what you want” to go.

A quick history lesson makes it clear that Michael Collins, the hand and mind behind the band, isn’t new to this game. Previously working under the names Run DMT and Salvia Plath, Collins now leads the charge with Drugdealer.

The End of Comedy often functions as an instrumental platform for Drugdealer while the vocals on several tracks are supplied by a variety of featured artists including Weyes Blood and Sheer Agony.

Two of the big highlight tracks are Drugdealer’s two collaborations with vocalist Weyes Blood, “Suddenly” and the titular “The End of Comedy”. The addition of her strong and expressive vocals to the tracks’ jazz and psychedelic fusion results in two songs that could stand on their own. “Suddenly” is an especially stand out work that one can’t help but feel deserves its place as an epic tune for the next generation of indie films.

Drugdealer’s adoration for the days of 60’s and 70’s Psychedelic Rock show clear in “Sea of Nothing” and the admittedly long titled “It’s Only Raining Right Where You’re Standing”. Both songs fit right into the genre, echoing vocals and loose yet constant instrumentals are a reminder of how music could feel good without tapping into rage or a sense of doom.

Perhaps the album’s only falter lies in songs like “Easy to Remember” which features Ariel Pink. This suddenly barebones track removes itself from the atmosphere of the record at a relatively early stage in your listen. An issue not so much with the song, but more so with the cohesion it has with the songs around it. This issue presents itself to a degree again in the follow up “Were You Saying Something”, though in both, the seeds are somewhat sewn for the more powerful Psychedelic tracks on the second half of the album.
To Drugdealer’s credit the instrumental track “Theme for Alessandro”, which places itself right after “Were You Saying Something”, allows for a transition to the sounds awaiting the listener. This track also relates to the ends of the record, “Far Rockaway Theme” and “Comedy Outro,” two piano and brass instrumentals that ease you into and out of the listening experience.

Drugdealer’s debut is a mix of styles and artists that provide a broad idea of what listeners can expect from future releases. The End of Comedy is admittedly not a straightforward listen. It’ll take one places you didn’t plan on going, but the secret behind Collin’s genius is that all too often you’ll love the trip nonetheless.