Mar 27 2009

The Drones – Havilah

Published by at 12:35 pm under Alternative,MP3's

The Drones are a grizzled, straight-up hard-rock band from Australia. I’ve been stuck in a twisted post-rock/hard rock cycle after downloading the top 25 releases from Touch & Go last week (Slint has haunted me since high school, the Jesus Lizard is further eroding my sanity). I haven’t slept much, and my dreams have been sinister. The Drones have not helped my predicament.
This isn’t typical IndieMuse material, but this album has hit me hard. Singer Garret Liddiard sings, screams and growls his way through the songs, following loosely constructed guitar narratives that are as gnarled as they are melodic. The more grizzly segments are punctuated by fluid, post-rock instrumental breakdowns and intense, cross-panning guitar solos; a shining light lent to the chaos. Their crescendos reach drastic heights, only to immediately plummet into paced, segmented arpeggios, an approach that mirrors Liddiard’s overwhelmingly bleak lyrics. But where the album is universally downcast  – failed marriages, broken friendships, and a general disdain for the human race – it’s a contextual down.  It’s an accessible heartbreak, because while his stories sound far more wretched than anything encountered in my own life, I’m totally with him when he wails at the end of “Nail it Down”: “Cause I’d try anything if I could only get along with you.”

On “Luck in Odd Numbers,” random double drum hits, spaced throughout the song, propel warbling guitars into the cosmos, backed by a spindly, walking bass lead that sounds like a corrupted John-Paul Jones. Each drum hit lends Liddiard more confidence, an increased gait as he spits his story. And deep into the song comes the requisite hard rock solo – squealing leads and layers of fuzz, a massive guitar and drum attack; the complete, visceral discharge of the previous seven minutes. Check the lyric sheet here.

From Havliah:

The Drones – Nail it Down

The Drones – Luck in Odd Numbers

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The Drones | MySpace |

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “The Drones – Havilah”

  1. Lukeon 29 Mar 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Bloody amazing Aussie band. I am from Perth in Western Australia and have seen them a few times now. They are even more incredible live.

    I would also recommend their album “Wait Long by the River and the Bodies of Your Enemies Will Float By”. Especially for their song “Shark Fin Blues” which is one of my all time favourite songs.

  2. civvieon 01 Apr 2009 at 2:39 pm

    The Drones are a truly great band. Real power. Real lyrics.
    Gareth Liddiard ought to go down as one of the great Australian songwriters, but I guess we’ll have to wait until they put out another 15 albums before that will happen…
    I wish them the best of luck.

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