Heavy Metal Singles
International Furlough: Down on the Pharm
(Independent / 25 March 2023)
International Furlough is the musical alias of multi-instrumentalist lyricist Ian Luddy, who's in the midst of recording and releasing singles in the metal mode.
"Blind in one Eye and Down on the Pharm speak for themselves in terms of subject matter. 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 drum beats that mirror the heaviness of the lyrics they support."
Guitar is Furlough's strong suit - he's brash, bombastic, de-tuned and driving. He knows the genre, and works its idioms. Down on the Pharm is relentless and aggressive. Blind In One Eye, released earlier this year, is more melodic overall. Ryan Elwood's drums add to the effect.
Vocally, though, he doesn't stand out. Delivery is monotonal and largely flat in terms of expression. A more passionate singer with a bigger voice would add a lot to the music. Alternatively, digital effects might have added dimensions to the vocal track.
Personnel: Ian Luddy - bass, guitar, vocals; Ryan Elwood (Session) - drums