Artist: The Skull Defekts
Title: The Drone Drug
Label: Release The Bats
Genre: Industrial Drone / Avant-noise
01 Bone Tone
02 A Drone Drug
03 Day One is Done
04 Skull Addikt
It is my personal rule of thumb that any artist touched by Touch Records is going to make a name for themselves almost immediately, and while I wouldn't be willing to place that fact dead center as the reasoning for an artist's success, it often, regardless, proves a useful rule for the measuring of one's success. Indeed, it was 9 months after the band was released under the 21st installment of Touch Radio's unique digital empire that they released their first vinyl LP on the well-renowned Conspiracy Records, and the rest is history. Two Release the Bats full-lengths and excellent offerings on Riot Season and the perversely ritual Utech Records, the band seems to have now found a comfortable home in Important Records. However, before The Temple and before the Waving 7”, there was The Drone Drug, the band's second aurally destructive disc on fellow Swede's label Release the Bats. Prepare yourself for a minimal overdose.
The one distinction that most seem to make, correctly, about The Skull Defekts is their adoration of the machine quality of electronic-driven drone. There are few noises here that can be confused as guitar or bass rumblings, and zero chance of percussive elements all the way through. We have relentless minimal machine textures, jagged and cold, consistently brutally humming away any coherent sort of atmosphere with a multitude of pulsating hum and feedback. Certainly this sound is more akin to industrial than ambient. There is no floating here, no drifting away, only the sharp edget of frequencies and mechanical animation to greet your soft mortal, easily damaged eardrums. The Drone Drug isn't necessarily raw by any means, in fact the production is pretty crystal clear, but its the composition that cuts and tears. As all encompassing as the sound is here, its no wonder the band has seen such success through labels. Thought, rather than a blanket as it feels with most drone ambient artists, with this one you're more likely to be surrounded by the rusty metal coils and spikes of an iron maiden.
The artwork is equally harsh. The digipak features a black mask on a vanilla yellow background. Anything on this background has a bizarre kind of multi-colored rainbow wavelength coming off parts of it. This one isn't pretty, and its not meant to be. The Skull Defekts are a reminder that the drone generation is getting older as well. Its hard to look at their information and see that they're well in their 40's now, at least most of them are. Even our friends in Troum have been making drone for over 20 years (beginning with Maeror Tri.), and to be honest, there are few quality players in the game carrying the flame for drone music in my generation. Enjoy these excellent releases while you can, kids, because at some point, the party's probably going to end at some point.