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Drones - Havilah

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 17 / 1 / 2009

Drones - Havilah
Label: ATP Recordings
Format: CD


Fine fourth album of Americana from downbeat, but haunting Australian group the Drones

This is the fourth album from this Australian four piece, who are new to my ears, but very much worth checking out. Gareth Liddiard fronts the band with a vocal that is like rusty honey. It opens with 'Nail It Down', which has a deep bass line while Gareth's vocal is very throaty, a lot like Robert Fisher of the Willard Grant Conspiracy. When the track really kicks in, it has the feel of true Americana despite being played by Aussies, and sounds very much in the vein of the Dream Syndicate and Green On Red. The intro to 'The Minotaur'sounds like the Smiths''Reel around the Fountain', but in an odd back-to-front way. Gareth's vocal is shouted and has a commanding presence. It all sounds strange. The drums work well though with the guitars giving it an early Dream Syndicate feel. 'The Drifting Housewife' has a slowcore Jesus and Mary Chain and Nick Cave sound. 'I am the Supercargo'is from the offset a very moody and large Americana number. It treads gently vocally, but its tale has the same effect as acid dripping on a dry throat. Dan Luscombe's guitar solo meanwhile edges towards a Neil Young sound. 'Careful As You Go' is soft and acoustic-sounding like a combination of the American Music Club' meets the Beatles 'Dear Prudence'. 'Oh My' returns to the sound of Nick Cave on very bad medicine, while its guitars have an element of Neil Young and Crazy Horse. 'Cold and Sober' is a slow hangover of a track, which grows slowly into a track that the Willard Grant Conspiracy would be proud of. 'Luck in Odd Numbers' is a slow and moody number with a vocal from Gareth that sounds like a sad Romeo Stodart from the Magic Numbers, while the guitars are like those of a muddy Neil Young again. The haunting 'Penumbra' is slow and very pretty. It ends with 'Your Acting like the End of the World' which is strange again as it is the most upbeat thing here, even too the point it sounds like the band are actually having fun and which is a song to tap your feet to.

Track Listing:-
1 Nail It Down
2 The Minotaur
3 The Drifting Housewife
4 I Am A Supercargo
5 Careful As You Go
6 Oh My
7 Cold And Sober
8 Luck In Odd Numbers
9 Penumbra
10 You're Acting's Like It's The End Of The World
11 I Don't Ever Want To Change (Live)

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