The one-off mystic supergroup of Brooks Townsend, Dave Bentley, Rich Freitas, and Rich Martin. Townsend was the guitar player in classic Mystic band Plaidpack, who were making their own way locally with their brand of punky Pere Ubu offkilter songs. Plaidpack had booked a Thursday night at venerable rock venue El-n-Gee in New London, but were looking at a cancellation due to a band member having a late committment that same night. Townsend was commiserating at a local rehearsal space with some fellow musicians who convinced him to keep the gig, and start a whole new band for the show.

Thus was born Drug, in a dingy Old Mystic basement practice spot. The idea was simple: one bass tuned low with distortion played by Bentley, a tighter second bass played by Martin, drums by Freitas, and guitar by Townsend, with no vocals. 

Over the next week, the four gathered to wring instrumental jams out of the air, and into some kind of recognizable form. Random musicians gathering for noise jams was common at the time, and Martin, Bentley, Townsend, and Freitas honed that esthetic into a fine five song set, represented here from the live recording of the Gee gig. 

Martin found a way to tastefully add some vocals to one of the tunes, but otherwise this is an instrumental venture. The night went so well, the band was then invited to do their set that Saturday night at Frohsinn Hall in Mystic for an all ages crowd. Their performance was one of the great jaw dropping nights at the old Hall. The band packed up their equipment that night, never to record or perform again.

At the time of the Drug summer, Freitas and Bentley were in the midst of 17 Relics most active time. Townsend was in the aformentioned Plaidpack, who wouldn’t last another year. Martin wasn’t actively playing in a group, but found the missing piece for the next great band in town, Grand Passion with Brooks Townsend.

Grand Passion, who he and Townsend would form with drummer Doug Hodges, would go on to electrify local and regional audiences for another six years.

This is a live recording of that Thursday night El n Gee show.



bass : david bentley
bass : rich martin
drums : rich freitas
guitars : brooks townsend

vocals on track 3 by martin

recorded by the el n gee soundcrew

cover design by RLM

originally released on cassette by hozomeen press recordings 1994