|Photo by Adarasha Benjamin|
Let's go through a checklist real quick:
Distorted, fuzzed out bass? Check.
Punchy organ and a Leslie speaker? Check.
Misleading piano and cello intro? Check
Pleasant surprise at what the intro lead to? Check.
Best recent use of 2 minutes and 2 seconds? Check.
The Pharmacy - "Dig Your Grave"
Well, by my calculations "Dig Your Grave," despite its depressing title, is a blast. Hell, if you played this while forcing me to dig said grave, I wouldn't mind it one bit -- almost like a great last meal for the ears. Which makes it all the more intriguing -- and a bit uncomfortable for me -- when considering that Pharmacy singer/guitarist Scottie Yoder penned the song about a friend who took his own life. Yoder explains, "Lyrically it's kind of a downer, but it's also one of those songs I wanted to leave open-ended so you could see it from your perspective if you were in a similar situation."
This opens up a whole other discussion about the contrast painted by melancholic lyrics against upbeat music or vice versa, and how a listener perceives the songwriter's intent with a song. "Dig Your Grave" certainly possesses a certain lyrical weight and depth, but it handles the severity of death with its own open-ended, emotional ambiguity: it's an energetic, psychedelic gospel-tinged, jangly garage rock affair that puts forth a subtle darkness and a buoyant spirit. Considering Yoder's intent with the song, I'd have to say that if I was in a dark place like that, "Dig Your Grave" would be a real lifesaver and shot of strength to power on. Rest in peace to the friend who inspired the song.
"Dig Your Grave" is from the Dig Your Grave 7" which was released earlier this year. The Pharmacy's new album, Stoned & Alone, is out November 6th, 2012 on Old Flame Records.
Old Flame Records