Apologies, I Have None's second album is the sound of decline. A sonic lurch from agony to clarity, from catharsis to doom. Set in a place where escape is a pill, a bag or a bottle, and salvation resides beneath a glowing green neon cross, the record chronicles compulsion and struggle, and song after song the band digs deeper into what drives people to ruin themselves, and what compels us to keep trying in a black, collapsing world.
If London was Apologies, I Have None's Summer, Black Everything was Autumn, and Pharmacie is a long, cold winter. It's primal, stark and beautiful, unyielding, brutal and true. Sonically huge, this meticulously crafted record is born for big stages, but it retains the core of what makes the band so important to it's fans – it's complete honesty. The sound is refined, clear of vision, and delivered with intent; subtle notes chiming and wailing in the distance over the band's trademark crunch and burn guitar, while the beat drives and pitches forward in a maelstrom of agonized vocals that swim and dive from child-like vulnerability to convulsive rage. All recorded as clear and clean as a prescription, sealed in a blister pack, aching to be opened.
At times Pharmacie is hard to listen to – it's intimate, honest and full of pain and it rushes and rings through the veins as it unravels towards a devastating end. It hurts but it's worth it. The songs are incredible.