If you’re new to Drugstore (and I am) then here’s a brief history lesson. They’re labelled as a dream pop (whatever that is) band who formed in 1993 and debuted with an eponymous album which reached 31 in the UK charts…their second album from 1998, “White Magic for Lovers”, reached number 45. In total they’ve released four albums and had a top twenty single with “El President which was a duet between the band’s Brazillian singer-songwriter and bassist Isabel Monteiro and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke. “The Best of Drugstore” takes, not surprisingly, songs from these albums.

I’ll be absolutely honest and say that Drugstore and associated bands of that era completely passed me by first time round and that has been somewhat remiss of me by all accounts.

“Best of…” kicks off with “Devil” and it’s a bit of shock and not what I was expecting at all – the tune starts off with Monteiro’s breathy vocals and musical textures in the background, which is what I was anticipating, before launching off into a great guitar driven pop record which I was not.

“El President” is a wonderful acoustic guitar pop record with Latin undertones and really makes me wonder just what I was up in my life to miss this lot…

“Sweet Chili” girl sounds like it should be on the soundtrack of a Tarantino flick with its spaghetti western intro and lyrically dark subject matter. It’s a sparse tune with Monteiro’s vocal juxtaposing beautifully to create a song that is uplifting and disturbing in equal measure and that really sets the tone for the rest of the record – melancholic, moving, mysterious and yet magical.

Simple arrangements are the perfect backdrop for Monteiro’s voice as on “Song for Pessoa” and Little Girl, but it would seem that Drugstore are much more than just a vehicle for her with the band bringing just as much to the show, whether it’s delicately strummed acoustic guitar or the more rock tinged “White Magic For Lovers”. “The Party’s Over” sounds to these ears reminiscent of Velvet Underground Nico period and that’s certainly a good thing!

There’s touches of country, hints of rock, snippets of folk, snatches of pop and whilst I don’t usually enjoy “Best of” albums this record’s twenty tracks do their job really well and stand as a great testament to a band that clearly deserve further exploration. The band is gigging to support this album and if I get the chance I’ll certainly popping along to see them.

Stuart

Read more album reviews

Read More Posts Like This

  • You may very well not have heard of this band let alone seen or heard their 1971 album Satori. I feel obliged to put that situation to right because hand on heart this is one of those stellar overlooked gems that ought to be in every rock music collection. The band formed in Japan in 1968 and are part of…

  • Out now on the Comeme label The Silver Album from this self exiled Russian now living in Berlin is a difficult one to tie down and I must admit that on the first few listens I found it difficult to get my head around. The Silver Album could never be accused of being easy listening and it does need to…

  • From my musical perspective, i’ve been noticing artists coming back into their music stride after many years of being quiet, or some new artists putting their musical twist on old classics. The internet has got a lot to do with this, as well as the close interaction we have between artist and fan. Twinned with the resurgence of vinyl, some artists seem to…

You must be logged in to leave a reply.