The Vault: Pollution – N.S. Drugs

Here it is folks, a resurrection, the first resurrection, maybe the only resurrection you’re ever going to need.  A new feature we’re going to do around here is hereby called “The Vault,” but maybe we’ll change that sometime in the future.  Basically, old reviews from the original site will be reposted here, if we feel they’re good enough for it, and we’ll also be using this special feature to showcase forgotten albums we come across now and then.  First up, a review from 2010 of the little-known NY hardcore act Pollution.  So awesome.
Here’s a cassette with some punch, probably laced in glass too, Kickboxer style. Anyone want to start up the tape factories again? Seems like it needs to happen after listening to this and realizing only a paltry 40 copies were made. Pollution has been making headway in Brooklyn for a little while now and it’s about time someone recognizes them. Let’s pretend we knew about them beforehand. Reading online, you find these guys under the category of ‘hardcore’, and that’s pretty unfair. If you think you’re going to go to the pizza pub for a “show” where some local bands breakdown their lives away this is definitely not for you and your skinny jeans, girly black hair cut and gauged, gay-ass Aztec-wannabe plugs. If you really want something that’s hard, N.S. Drugs is just the pill to swallow. Damn, that was lame.


Tagging this hardcore is, to be frank, stupid. Hardcore? Nah, because for once you won’t hear a single lick of all the canned vocals and tattooed oi that plagues the scene. This is hardcore in essence, hardcore at its most pure. Hard and raw as hell. Immediately, with the opener “Black Commune,” you’re treated to the perfect level of atonal sludge. The guitars and bass are plain dirty with drums pushing the limits of volume and speaker solidity. Does it sound hardcore? No. Pollution doesn’t really have a “hardcore” sound to their music. It’s more closely placed into the noise rock genre with a little punk, grind, and grunge, and by the end of all those references it’s clear we should cut the tags altogether. Pollution sounds like they’ve captured the toxic waste melting dude in Robocop and made him a musical thing of the flesh. But, for extra kick, though the music is harsh and driving with some of the most fist-to-glass riffs you’re ever going to hear, the vocals blow everything else the feck away and make us pull out catch phrase after catch phrase until it’s embarrassing.


They’re delivered with an interesting and unique (for this kind of music) layer of reverb and echo, rebounding off of both of your ears and looping around the music. Sometimes they sound like they’re melting away in some sort of plagued pit of soiled flesh. Other times, they’re presented with more of a hardcore punk edge, sad as it is to reference again. You’d expect the angry yelling to get old, but somehow the vocalist manages to succeed every begonking time on every begonking song, even the ending cover of “Downer” by Lush (only on the cassette version). Fuck, it doesn’t even sound like Lush anymore. These guys devastate anything they touch. But they never do it in a way you’d expect, they consistently pull out some of the most original riffs; catchy, with some black metal and noise spice on top, but never redundant. By the time you get to the end of this one, it’s about time to start it all over again. N.S. Drugs is a welcome refresher in an era of stagnant, by-the-books hardcore that needs to be crushed and mutilated and pissed upon. Pollution is the new hardcore. Pollution is hardcore. Wake up and buy this shit.


Written by Stanley Stepanic

Pollution: N.S. Drugs
C6 Recordings
4.5 / 5