Home Music International Furlough – Down on the Pharm

International Furlough – Down on the Pharm


These guys carry the heavy metallic burden of being a distorted rock band in a post-SLEEP age. With their praise of magic mushrooms as well as singing hooks like “way a way from way a way from way away from waaaay from me,” International Furlough has a united sound, with vocals striking the iron hot and out of the pale fog at points. The two tracks on Down on the Pharm are worth your time, especially if you like you weed-encoded hard rock branded and Denver grown blasted off yer ass music.

Take a listen to the starter of this two track split, “Blind in One Eye” and let us know what you think.

Though the fried lazy vocals are meant to grin with tambour and feeling, something International Furlough attempts to bring, Ian Luddy should try a little harder next time. The drumming and guitar line up so well it kinda sucks that Luddy sticks to his careless Primus-dunked mumble screech. At least Les puts his whole Claypool into it, you know? Luddy’s lyrics are attempting to reach purgative success, yet he sounds often like he is stuck in a limbo between deadly preacher and college radio kid just starting to find their voice.

On a song like “Down on the Pharm,” with its wicky-wicked RATM splurges of sound effect usage, let alone discussions of serious topics like drugs and consistent addiction, Ian should try to sound like he gives a shit. However, on this track, it ends up sounding like he is taking one. And I say that as someone who sees the potential in this group, because “Down on the Pharm” is a good song. It just needs some more heart between its bulging, whacked-out veins… to try being cathartic by being yourself above all else. But hey man, you gotta try before the people start to believe in you. Thank God (or Satan) Ryan Elwood does. His drumming is great here.

International Furlough is a solo passion project started in 2017 by Luddy himself. After a few years of surgical setbacks and pharmacological challenges, the project finally came to fruition in early 2023 with 9 songs total. A second album is currently in the works.

These guys probably wish Bam Margera was still healthy and CKY was still young, and hey, don’t we all white America? Especially at a time where fentanyl and opiates have flipped the script on our mayo asses, the way crack cocaine did for blacks in the eighties, International Furlough have the potential to be the very best of politcal commentating, psychedelic-orchestrating hooplah hardcore since Johnny Ramone‘s family decided to start a pop punk band.

All they have to do is get people to sing their songs. That, and deliver on their next project.

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