Nowhere near as psychedelic as their moniker might suggest, Drugdealer are in fact a collaboration between LA-based artist Michael Collins (Salvia Plath / Run DMT) and Natalie Mering from Weyes Blood and and Ariel Pink. Travel-inspired whimsy which explores spaghetti westerns, perceptions of social media and Jean Baudrillard.
5/10 Clinton Staff review, 07 September 2016
The curse of the modern American Indie musicians obsessions with '70s pop rock continues throughout 'The End of Comedy', the debut from serial name changer Michael Collins (Run DMT, Salvia Plath).
Collins has drafted in some fellow Pitchfork-approved acts such as Ariel Pink and Weyes Blood but whatever budget he's had for guests expenses hasn't covered studio time as like much other recent output by a variety of artists this is like a take on 70s soft rock as played on Casio keyboards. The lack of variety in the opening tracks is exemplified by the segue between the George Harrison influenced 'The Real World' to 'Suddenly' (very Paul McCartney despite the efforts of Weyes Blood) back to the Ariel Pink starring 'Easy to Forget' (Harrison again). Even when Collins stumbles on a good melody he seems to want to stop it just as it's getting going leaving behind the fumes of pleasant enough yacht pop which needs some meat on the bones. Lyrically it's no more ambitious - Collins juxtaposes the phrase of 'la la la la la' on 'Easy to Forget' with 'la la la la la ' on ''Were You Saying Something?' Morrissey this is not but it's not the main problem. It's because half the songs sound like he can't be arsed. The second hand Beatles-isms of 'It's Only Raining Where You Are Standing' are pleasant enough on the ear with it's descending chord changes but nothing screams inspiration or innovation or any reason whatsoever to go back to the record.
If you like your Billy Joel coming from a tin can then this may suffice for awhile and if you write for Pitchfork you are going to love it unconditionally but for anyone who is used to the thrill of pop music down the ages from the Beatles to Cotton Mather to Grandaddy then this is a frustratingly uneven listen.
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