Who: Situated in Perth, Australia, one of the most remote major cities in the world, singer/guitarist Gareth Liddiard and guitarist Rui Pereira came together in 2000 and formed what was to become the Drones. After minor radio success, Liddiard and Pereira moved the band to Melbourne, ditching the rest of their band and hooking up with bassist Fiona Kitschin and drummer Mike Noga. Their third album, Gala Mill, arrived in October 2006.
What’s the Deal: While their first efforts pushed a sinister brand of experimental garage rock, Gala Mill finds the ferocity taken down a notch and added focus directed on lyrical weight. The opener, “Jezebel,” addresses such myriad topics as an infamous Australian school massacre, journalist Daniel Pearl’s murder, and nuclear testing. It’s just one instance of many when Liddiard weaves and wanders through myth, history, and pure epistemological thought with his throaty, drunken voice. The Drones eventually loosen their menacing grip on the cocky “I Don’t Ever Want to Change,” and closing track “Sixteen Straws” takes a page from Bob Dylan in its meandering pace, but stretches the band’s lyrical scope with absurd, Neutral Milk Hotel-style imagery.
Fun Fact: Gala Mill is not just a conceptual title: The band recorded the album in an actual mill on a 10,000-acre farm on Tasmania’s east coast. TIFFANY WAN
Now Hear This:The Drones – “Jezebel” DOWNLOAD MP3
Talk: Are the Drones worth the trip down under? COMMENT
On SPIN.com:Hey, This Is Awesome: Drones Video
On the Web:Drones’ official site