9 Track, LP (2006, ATP/Recordings)
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Related: The Drones.
If The Drones’ critical acclaim was condensed to a single page, it would be more gushing than fan mail to royalty. And if you visualised the surreal horror of Gala Mill’s opening track ‘Jezebel,’ it would be like watching Wolf Creek and Apocalypse Now projected on top of each other. The Drones are certainly one of Australia’s most important bands, but they’re also quite a difficult listen. Theirs is coarse, challenging and emotionally disturbing rock & roll – the antithesis of carefree pop. The band’s third studio album is even less immediately likeable than their previous work, but for those with the patience – and discerning ears – it unravels more majestically. Unchained from the clatter of guitar wails, Gareth Liddiard’s lyrics are brought to the fore. On some tracks they stretch to four pages of liner note detail, recalling that other literate misanthrope of pop, Nick Cave. This is a must-have for serious music fans.
by Andrew Ramadge