Monday, March 30, 2009

The Drones
Havilah
People are a waste of food
Don't bother learning Chinese
Thou shalt find oneself perturbed
By less verbose calamities
Just get some Heinz baked beans,
A 12 gauge, bandolier and tinned dog food
We'll eat your dog, bury our dead
Or eat them instead
That's entirely up to you
’ – Oh My

Where some dread music is castigated as being for those who don’t like music and may snap up an album or, whisper it, two while in the gasping rush of the Sunday shop, The Drones could almost be savagely plaudited for making Neil Young and Crazy Horses’s campfire one all the more worth cantering round inquisitively rather than marauding through. Glib, maybe but it may well be so. It’s an oft featured remark (the likeness, not the verbiage, that’s all me, baby) but their arid, desolate sense of beauty (as with the preceding Gala Mill, this was written and recorded in solitary) as they proffer you pewter tankards to drain these dolorous dirges, wondrous, lumbering funk and jallopian blues set to enticing narratives certainly does, as the cover indicates, incur images of reclining amidst the stars with nary a log cabin for company and some long, drawn out nights for comfort, and vice versa. The viscously liquid guitars, scowling, straining at their lead before spiralling out into dizzying descents and squalling arpeggios of white heat leaving cordite traces and mirroring Gareth Liddiard’s lacerated lungs like they’re scorched with the burning oilfields of the ravaged earths they walk make them more than just the most intriguing lyricist of many a year (probably since Spencer Moody of the Murder City Devils, cos of course you wanna know). Pirouetting incandescently around Liddiards’ simmering, apoplectic, smoked creosote and crystal-dissolving snarl they match, express accentuate and elucidate the confusion and non-plussed ire along with the more usual senses of foreboding and dislocation, with catastrophic perfection on the grimy glam scuffed-suede of Oh My. That they’ve retained the supernova turkey shoot sounds with a new guitarist in tow (Dan Liscombe, come on down) is relegated to a footnote under the wonderfully oppressive weight of the whole, where with most bands it’d be one of the few things to mention – and even then it’s only mentioned to strive for some semblance of normalcy in these suburban charades.
Deep, if not trenchant, elegant, eloquent, extravagant, esoteric, earthy, engaging and disquietingly exciting, again maybe it’s a glib and easy hitch but they along with Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen, Big Star’s Third and pirate Idahoans Hillfolk Noir are one of few acts to fully harness the realms of fervently euphoric melancholia. Another statuesque piece of art. A rare occurrence and one to behold. Stop reading and go listen and embrace it with open qualms. Run, be it's congregation, for here be litanies for your desparation.
Stu Gibson

1 comment:

Michael said...

I love this band and this album is their best yet. They're fantastic live, too.

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