Archive for the ‘The Drones’ Category

Live Review: The Drones at The Rosemount Hotel

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

09) The Drones, at RosemountSaturday 30th April, 2016 – Review by Chris Gardner Back at the last ever Big Day Out in Perth, I watched The Drones play to roughly seven people while Tame Impala blared in the background.  In a way, it’s a metaphor […]

Photos: The Drones at Rosemount Hotel

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

20) The Drones, at RosemountSaturday 30th April, 2016 : Rosemount Hotel, Perth : Photos by Damien Crocker [See image gallery at]

Gig pick of the week: The Drones

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

drones_the_h_0216.d41c660e3ef85273d4d849125052bd31Saturday night will see the Rosemount Hotel embraced by the sounds of Perth born legends THE DRONES. Having played recently for the PIAF festival, including a spectacular opening night of the festival showcasing W.A., The Drones will play tracks of […]

Live Review: The Drones at The Bakery

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

12) The Drones, at The BakerySaturday September 21, 2013 – Review by Matthew Tomich. THE DRONES have one of those audiences that’s difficult to pin down: mostly dudes, but plenty of women who weren’t dragged along by their partners; an equal number of meatheads and […]

Live Review: The Drones at The Astor

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

The Drones LIVE2.The Drones at Astor Theatre on Friday April 19, 2013. Review by Amy Mowle THE DRONES have made a name for themselves as the best Australia has to offer, so it’s no surprise that the hype surrounding their national tour […]

Photos: The Drones at Astor Theatre

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

09) The Drones, at the Astor Theatre.The Drones at Astor Theatre, Perth on Friday April 19, 2013. Photos By Caroline Forsberg.

Review: The Drones — “I See Seaweed”

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

I See Seaweed: in which our nation’s poet laureate further stakes his claim that he leads the greatest band in the land. Five years in the current climate of art, music, politics, hell, all facets of life is a long time to be away. Sure, we had Strange Tourist (aka ‘the one in which Gareth discovered word processing’), A Thousand Mistakes (aka a necessary diversion which in hindsight provided focus and drive), The Balladeer Hunter, The Nothing Butts, some other shit, but hey, it’s still been a heck of a time since we were all convinced that the doom and gloom had taken our man to lunch. Shit, what the fuck am I doing? How can my prose even measure up to this kinda crappy ass cover? I’ll try, but if you’re not partial to my ramblings, just take the recommendation and move on somewhere.

Anyway: one theory that I’ve stolen from some European Professor in a suit is that constraints on art allow the artist to really work within their chosen form and create something worthwhile. It’s similar I guess to how Wittgenstein (to boil down something real complex into something completely wrong) posited that all philosophical questions cannot really be answered because we are constrained by language, but that constraint gives us meaning or what have you. Music thrives on structure, from the form of the music, popular as verses and choruses are, to the actual physical limitations of our instruments, especially the human voice and our native language. To boil my shit over, basically I’m saying that The Drones have created another essential album by working within their means and limitations, the end result being downright frightening.

For all of Strange Tourist’s virtues, and there are many, it needed two things: an editor and a musical foil. Gareth Liddiard has quite rightly gotten more confident with his literal narrative driven songwriting over the years, edging from the achingly personal to the achingly impersonal, and this informs the drive of Seaweed, but instead of being outwardly direct it’s cloaked. The lyrics are now more Bill Callahan than Paul Kelly, in a way. The other thing about Tourist is that musically, every song was basically exactly the same. That’s why it’s refreshing to hear Fiona Kitschin, Mike Noga, Dan Luscombe (aka Fluscombe) and new-ish member Steve Hesketh give the musings on global warming and overpopulation, Soviet Space dogs, radio broadcasters forcing shit down your throats and Google Street View a wider variety than what we’re used to with a Drones record. All the talk about Russian composers come to a heed in first single ‘How to See Through Fog’, a song I disliked when I first heard it (the histrionic lead break is perhaps the only misstep on the entire record), but the song’s power comes from these plonking keys, like a middle-period Shostakovich melody, sounding like a true fog you’re straining to peer through.

For all of the impressive aspects about their previous work (intensity, dynamics, lyrics, guitar sounds) the most exciting and welcome thing about Seaweed is the arrangements: no band, not even this band seven years ago could do a song like ‘Nine Eyes’ or ‘Laika’ without relying too much on bludgeoning the listener. A Thousand Mistakes seemed like a nice holiday at the time, but the warehouse portion of the disc showcased the direction of this record and perhaps beyond; what do you do when you’ve conquered the rock band? You become a weird band. That means that the rules have changed, but hell, there’s still rules you have to follow – verses tumble out, choruses are repeated, you still gotta have ‘A Moat You Can Stand In’ to remind, but even them that’s more like a bar in Valhalla than a bar in Brunswick. Essentially, there’s a deep well of confusion within this record, and that is informing this review: what the fuck am I doing? This comes down to not just Hesketh but of Noga, Luscombe and Kitschin adapting to these new clauses and terms within the music.

I will not hesitate to say that although Gala Mill is officially part of my Western Canon, Seaweed challenges its supremacy and is the first real vital record of the year. Part of The Drones’ charm previously came from the fact they were constantly shuffling their feet, constantly trying to break forms and convention when that wasn’t really possible within than context anyway – re-listening to ‘Jezebel’ again, a song that when I first heard at 16 years old resulted in a dazed silence that lasted days, it sounds now like a warm-up. That’s fucking scary! When you’re locked in a cage, your natural reaction is to yell yourself hoarse; how much more unnerving is it to see a caged animal lock a gaze and growl? How spectacular is it to notice that although the door is locked, there’s a hole in the fence to peer through – if they like things being elliptical, well, that’s fine by me.

The Drones Announce ‘I See Seaweed’ Aus Tour

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

The_Drones_1_MED.1.1This April, The Drones are heading out in the I See Seaweed Tour, playing some of the most iconic venues they’ve set foot in to date, including a night that’s likely to become one of those legendary shows people talk […]

The Drones Announce I See Seaweed Tracklisting

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

The DronesThere’s a song near the end of I See Seaweed called ‘Laika’ about the dog who was shot into space, with no hope of return, in a Soviet experiment in 1957. It follows Laika as she is born a stray […]