The Drones: Feelin Kinda Free

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The Drones

“…Feelin Kinda Free features many moments without flaws”

It seems to be an unfortunate reality that, even after a good decade and a half of releasing material, too few ears in the US have had the pleasure of witnessing the sounds of the Aussie group, The Drones. When I say “unfortunate reality”, it’s really a polite way to say “insufferable crime”. Led by my pick for one of the most incomparable leading singer/songwriters in the universe, Gareth Liddiard, they tear a hole through a constantly shape-shifting style of rock that at times can be so visceral, you’d swear you were stuck dead-center in a Wake in Fright nightmare scenario.

Now seven full-length albums in, one significant thing The Drones have managed to accomplish each time out is grabbing their listener by the throat with a powerful opening track. In all seriousness, I cannot think of another band since the turn of the century who has been more successful at fully impressing in those ever-important initial minutes of a record. On their latest, Feelin Kinda Free, this proves to be no different. A tornado of synths, drums, and guitars fades in on “Private Execution”, and by the time Liddiard’s scathing vocals make their introduction around the 1:25 mark of this seven-minute epic, there’s little reason to doubt that this will be another incredible offering by one of the world’s most under-appreciated bands.

Over the course of its eight thunderous tracks and 40 minutes of run-time, Feelin Kinda Free features many moments without flaws and culminates in something close to a perfect rock record, all the while pushing the band to new directions as they display every time out. Whether they are pulling the trigger lightning fast on a killer tune like “Taman Shud”, or dialing things back for one of the most beautiful ballads in recent memory (“To Think That I Once Loved You”), it’s evident that they are on the top of their game and making the majority of bands look like School of Rock-beginners. It’s only on the back half of the album, particularly on semi-staller, “Sometimes”, where I began to pull off the 5-star pedal. Still, even the lesser Drones songs are better than a lot of what I hear in rock music today. Here’s to hoping Feelin Kinda Free becomes the album to heighten some US exposure for these fine folks from Perth.

 

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Author: Andy Ferguson

Much of who Andy Ferguson has become can be directly attributed to the summer of 1997, when he stumbled upon VHS copies of ‘Swingers’ and ‘Bottle Rocket’, while almost simultaneously becoming introduced to the Dr. Octagon album, ‘Dr. Octagonecologyst’. Living in a small country town in Indiana as a 13 year-old worshipping artists like Kool Keith and Pavement instantly makes one into more than an outcast. Instead of becoming the cliched friendless and depressed shut-in, he embraced the otherworldly culture that these records and films were presenting him.

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