I Am Drugs
Over the last year or so, Monster Truck’s lead vocalist and bassist Jon Harvey has been teasing his latest project through social media. Vicious Beast came to life through a handful of scorching live dates with the excitement further heightened with a trio of singles released since the beginning of March, culminating with the release of Vicious Beast’s debut full-length album, I Am Drugs. Made independently as a pandemic project, I Am Drugs was recorded with Michael Keire (The Dirty Nil, The Arkells) and features Myke Penney, of The Jailbirds, on guitar.
Opening with the Salvador Dali-inspired title track, “I Am Drugs” sets the tone for Harvey’s latest project while also setting it distinctly apart from his previous work. While Monster Truck feels more classic rock inspired, Vicious Beast is driven by a grittier sound, one the revels in sinister sounds and aggressive tones. The opening title track captures just this through an energetic tempo, gravelly vocals, and ripping guitars, all backed by a relentless beat.
I Am Drugs is an absolute tour de force of a record. The band’s performance is nothing short of powerful, accented by Harvey’s howling vocals, reflecting a darker side of ‘70s rock, while still feeling deeply rooted in modern rock. From the Black Sabbath riff of “I Am The Night” to the unhinged swagger of “Sex Magic”, I Am Drugs is a hard-hitting album that delivers banger after banger. Additionally, the driving “Solid Gold”, the sludgy blues of “Til The Morning”, and the impending doom that is “Sleep Walker” are undeniable highlights.
Over the course of eight tracks, Harvey and company soar with a powerful performance and shine through a darker sense of songwriting. While all too brief, not a moment feels wasted on this record. With only two songs surpassing three minutes, there is an urgency to the music that lends itself to punk rock, without sounding like a punk record. Instead, Harvey refuses to linger, giving you just enough to elicit a raw sense of excitement before moving on to the next musical idea. In this sense, it would be fitting if their debut was the only album to come from Vicious Beast, however you’ll keep I Am Drugs on repeat, hoping for a follow-up release.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: VICIOUS BEAST – I AM DRUGS