Ferocious and raw, International Furlough’s new song, “Down on the Pharm,” pushes out shadowy momentum reminiscent of Black Sabbath.
Talking about the track, International Furlough shares that the “lyrics were inspired by a crippling dependence and strong discontentment. With the instrumental sections matching the heaviness of the lyrical themes, the end result is an engulfment in down-tuned distortion, thick bass lines, and heavy drumbeats that mirror the heaviness of the lyrics they support.”
The solo project of Ian Luddy, International Furlough began in 2017. After a few years of surgical setbacks and pharmacological challenges, the project finally came to fruition in early 2023 with nine songs in total. A second album is currently in the works.
Jeff Kanan of The Keep Recording produced “Down on the Pharm,” while Luddy provides guitars, bass, and vocals, with drums performed by Ryan Elwood.
Raging, rumbling drums and muscular guitars give the intro to “Down on the Pharm” a grimacing feel, and then roll into a mid-tempo rhythm drenched in hefty guitars. The harmonics shift, taking on a galloping cadence, followed by waves of clotted guitars accented by industrial tones.
Luddy’s vocals sneer and growl with rasping timbres, infusing the lyrics with a chant-like grittiness, exuding urgent opprobrium.
“Jade my eye never feel the weight / How far I would go just to heal again / Jade my eye never feel the weight / How far I would go to never feel again / Rip my fix from the hand that feeds.”
Thrumming with condensed, aching momentum, “Down on the Pharm” conjures up suggestions of umbral revelations.