The Drones – Havilah
Incendiary saw this lot at Haldern festival a few years ago and were impressed by the, (and I quote myself) “fractured, shimmering guitar runs and booming bass lines…. inspiring rock and roll that was shatteringly basic in its intent. Oh, and loud and brutal, just how it should be, devoid of any fat and gristle.”
There you go then.
Well this LP is pretty much that.
The Drones seem to be very much of the Australian alternative rock tradition, their harsh “widescreen” sound-scapes always hanker after glory or redemption. At times you can’t escape thinking of David McComb, or Crime and the City Solution… There are some long meandering tracks on Havilah, with the LP’s brooding highlight, Luck in Odd Numbers weighing in at over 8 minutes.
Sometimes these fluid song structures and the abrasive guitar runs put you the listener mind of Television’s rockier moments. And singer David Liddiard’s got a hell of a scream on him, heard to best effect in the primal howl that is The Minotaur. There are quiet moments too, in stark contrast to their wig-outs, they are country tinged, and dry as the Western desert.
In conclusion it’s not breaking any new ground, sonically, but it’s a hell of a record made by a band in their prime.
Words: Richard Foster