New Zealand Music Month: Meth Drinker
It’s New Zealand Music Month this May. New Zealand’s annual celebration of homegrown music. Generally, that involves a lot of mainstream media highlighting a lot of mainstream acts. So I’m here to try and redress the balance a bit. I’ll be posting a link to some rowdy New Zealand music for you to check out every day over the next month. Some bands will no doubt be familiar; others I hope will be fresh to your ears.
Meth Drinker, cult sludge punks from Wellington, are mere days away from jetting off on another DIY tour around Europe. When the tour ends in Russia in late-June, one member of the band will be staying overseas as well. That means Meth Drinker are going on hiatus, and once those upcoming European dates are done and dusted, who knows when, or even if, Meth Drinker will ever get back to making their soul-destroying noise ever again.
Obviously, that’s grim news for fans like me. But a measure of comfort can be found in the fact that Meth Drinker have already recorded a couple of the heaviest and most misanthropic albums ever released from New Zealand’s shores.
Meth Drinker’s 2011 self-titled debut featured the kind of ultra-heavy, low-gauge grinding cacophony last heard when bands like Buzzov*en, Noothgrush, Grief and Eyehategod were in their prime creative (and self-destructive) years. Meth Drinker have that same anti-social gravity about them. That same spirit-crushing and nihilistic weight. And, of course, the band deals in similarly decimating waves of filthy feedbacking riffs, and plenty of throat-slit howls.
Really, Meth Drinker don’t so much exhibit a poverty of spirit as just bring ten tonnes of negativity and enmity. And much like Open Tomb (fellow New Zealand titans of uber-downtempo unpleasantness) Meth Drinker have also found an enthusiastic audience for their bleak doom-laden sludge at home and overseas.
In 2014, Meth Drinker delivered another tar-thick racket with their excellent second full-length release, Oil. Once again, they lurched from one heinous crime scene to the next on that album. And, aside from Meth Drinker’s two full-lengths, there are other devastating dirges from the band that’ll likely appeal to both underground punk and metal fans.
Meth Drinker also released a two-song EP in 2014, and they also feature on a 2013 split with Moloch. In 2012, the band released a five-song split with Open Tomb. And, this year, Meth Drinker are joined by doom punks Leechfeast on a new split that was recently co-released by the always-compelling UK-based Dry Cough Records, and Danish label Raw Birth Records.
That’s the downbeat muck and misery of Meth Drinker sketched out. The band is sure to be missed, for now, but fingers crossed they’ll return in the future. In the meantime, see below for a bunch of Bandcamp links for Meth Drinker’s Oil and the band’s debut.