With a name that doesn’t so much hint at Spaceman 3’s ‘Taking drugs to make music to take drugs to’ ideal but to instead openly wear it on its sleeve, Supplemental Pills are gonna wear that shirt all summer, in spite of the blim-burns and beer stains.
Supplemental Pills’ music is a pummeling charge of overdriven guitars layered against howling feedback and a rhythm section with a tightness that feels loose. Add in mournful mantra-like chants and bubbling analogue synth squelches, and you have a heady mix of stoner rock and space rock with some of the gospel-tinged vocal melodies found in Spiritualized and the BJM. With enough repetition for their music to feel trancelike but just enough harnessed frenzy that it is seemingly teetering on the edge of a journey that just might go a bit wrong. Maybe these are the pills they’re talking about.
At its heavier points, Volume 1 is the smothering experience of driving through a car wash. As the sound travels over and through you, whatever else exists outside of the pummelling brushes and sweeping jet wash, means nothing. At the other end of the spectrum comes tracks like Mary Marrakesh and Floating Moments over Rivers, wherein Supplemental Pills stretch out their sound even more so over reverb-drenched acoustic guitars and layers of feedback. As a genre, Drone doesn’t seem to want to offer anything new, but perhaps that’s the point. The minimalist approach to melody and dynamic locks you into a state of permanence. There is no anticipation of change so when the slightest lift or drop in structure does occur, a molehill feels like a mountain. Supplemental Pills’ music is a guided trip through well-trodden galaxies. Although nobody goes on a first date to a car wash, perhaps they should.