The Drones - any good (also Tropical Fuck Storm content here)

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A bit of hype about The Drones ( Melbourne) ...anyone heard their record or seen em live yet ?

grapple (grapple), Tuesday, 14 March 2006 01:22 (fifteen years ago) link

my little brother just sent me this. i've only listened to one track, but it was agreeably rackety.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Tuesday, 14 March 2006 01:48 (fifteen years ago) link

Excellently rackety live.

kit brash (kit brash), Tuesday, 14 March 2006 02:20 (fifteen years ago) link

I haven't seen them live yet but I enjoyed their album (the one with the long title). Rackety indeed, in fact each song sounds as if it's about to fall apart.

Crazy Horse meets the Birthday Party with a little Tindersticks thrown in.

Jeff K (jeff k), Tuesday, 14 March 2006 02:22 (fifteen years ago) link

here's my 3/2002 review of their SXSW show:

Simultaneously bringing chaos and beauty into the crowded dive, The Drones eerie brand of noise was the perfect end to a wonderful day of music. Whether one is hell-raising or soul-searching, The Drones� wallop will see you through. Perhaps like a present day Velvet Underground, songs like "Featuring The Cockeyed Lowlife Of The Highlands" and "New Kind Of Kick" more than adequately represented this generation's desire for more, while other tunes hypnotized and identified with the mournful listener. Looking back at SXSW, The Drones were my favorite bit of it all. The Beerland showcase was the stuff of Legend (in my mind, anyway) ...noise, sleazy rock n' roll and transcendence through sound. If you don't go out and find Here Come The Lies, The Drones fabulous new record, (Spooky Records), you're missing out on some of the best music around. God bless them Aussies...


P.S. Everyone in their right mind should be going to see Racebannon this Friday at lava lounge patio (austin, TX, usa) for their SXSW showcase. oh my goodness.

cbeck (cbeck), Tuesday, 14 March 2006 04:17 (fifteen years ago) link

damnit! That review is actually from March of 2003....excuse the typo.

cbeck (cbeck), Tuesday, 14 March 2006 04:18 (fifteen years ago) link

Good album. Opening track is just incredible, brilliant rock music. The rest of it holds up. They have potential to improve.

Sean Braudis (Sean Braudis), Tuesday, 14 March 2006 07:13 (fifteen years ago) link

seven months pass...
so,what do you think of their new record - "Gala Mill"?

emekars (emekars), Saturday, 28 October 2006 11:03 (fourteen years ago) link

I think the new album is a grower. It's very much a lyric album, so the music seems to play a real secondary role, unlike the first record where maybe the music got in the way of the narrative sometimes.

It doesn't seem to have a "Shark Fin Blues" on it after a few listens, but I'm still spending time with it.

Brooker Buckingham (Brooker B), Saturday, 28 October 2006 13:53 (fourteen years ago) link

listening to it again now. seeing them tonight! [i'm really fond of their last record, which is distinctly different than gala mill, but i still think that this one is uniformly excellent.]

blackmail (, Saturday, 28 October 2006 13:57 (fourteen years ago) link

I think that "Jezebel" is the "Shark Fin Blues" of this record. Is a strange approach to frontload such iconic songs, possibly at the expense of the rest of the record [not because it's not good, but just because the first song bears repeated listening.]

blackmail (, Saturday, 28 October 2006 13:59 (fourteen years ago) link

[There's a bit of a tactical error in the presskit - and this applies to compatriots Devastations as well - but soliciting comparisons to artists like Nick Cave by making a self-identified "Australian" record probably hurts them in the short run.]

blackmail (, Saturday, 28 October 2006 14:04 (fourteen years ago) link

because Nick Cave is the only Australian musician ever? wtf? are they not soliciting comparisons to Little Patti?

occasional mongrel (kit brash), Saturday, 28 October 2006 17:54 (fourteen years ago) link

well, if they wanted to be "daring" they might have mentioned midnight oil, f. ex.

blackmail (, Saturday, 28 October 2006 20:56 (fourteen years ago) link

or Thug? or Human Nature?

occasional mongrel (kit brash), Sunday, 29 October 2006 02:14 (fourteen years ago) link

they had a disastrous set in philly saturday night. equipment trouble led to general bitching...

blackmail (, Monday, 30 October 2006 10:16 (fourteen years ago) link

It doesn't seem to have a "Shark Fin Blues" on it after a few listens

i don't know, 'never gonna change' sort of fulfills that role (and caused a full-on audience ruck at their london show last week)

i am not a nugget (stevie), Monday, 30 October 2006 10:41 (fourteen years ago) link

There was a UK punk band called "The Drones".

Apparently, they were'nt very good, according to their manager, Paul Morely.

mark grout (mark grout), Monday, 30 October 2006 10:43 (fourteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
i just saw these guys in L.A., they're astonishing live. i've DLed a few tracks and they're nearly as good. best live rock band since hot snakes?

gear (gear), Monday, 20 November 2006 22:18 (fourteen years ago) link

i read the p-fork review today.

i wanna check these doodz out.

M@tt He1geson: Sassy and I Don't Care Who Knows It (Matt Helgeson), Monday, 20 November 2006 22:39 (fourteen years ago) link

I heard Shark Fin Blues and it had a very familiar -'where have I heard this before?'- tune to it. The guitar kills. It's violent.

I've been tempted with that album but if that is heads above the rest then I may leave it and try the new one?

Yeah the 1977 Drones from Manchester? I always wanted to hear them when I was fixated with '77 punk.I even wrote them on my pencil case at school without hearing them. Since read that they were a third division Eater - yeah, that bad.

Jessie the Drunk Dutch Mountain Dog (Jessie the Drunk Dutch Mountai), Monday, 20 November 2006 22:53 (fourteen years ago) link

one year passes...

Great band, my favorite new discovery of last year. If you can track it down, the rarities comp "The Miller's Daughter" is spectacular.

Simon H., Friday, 18 January 2008 22:11 (thirteen years ago) link

eight months pass...

new record, Havilah, coming out in october.
first impression: very good

Zeno, Monday, 22 September 2008 22:20 (twelve years ago) link


Last album was great.

fREETIME (wilter), Monday, 22 September 2008 22:52 (twelve years ago) link

lol @ "spends all day looking at porn or playing fucking halo 2"

fREETIME (wilter), Tuesday, 23 September 2008 23:59 (twelve years ago) link

halo 3's been out for ages n00b.

fREETIME (wilter), Wednesday, 24 September 2008 00:00 (twelve years ago) link

Excellently rackety live.

I'll speak to this. Hadn't heard them before, but caught their live show at ATP over the weekend, and it was a pleasant surprise. And quite rackety, indeed.

ilxor, Thursday, 25 September 2008 02:13 (twelve years ago) link

Don't know what I am the Supercargo is about but it's a fucking jamm.

'Breaker' Moran (wilter), Thursday, 25 September 2008 08:19 (twelve years ago) link

A++++ username wilter, looooool

somehow i think i completely missed hearing anything from 'gala mill', which is weird cos i was a big rep for 'wait long by the river...'; i'll have to check this one out.

Deep House, M.D. (haitch), Thursday, 25 September 2008 12:32 (twelve years ago) link

ten months pass...

'Jezebel' slew me this morning after I put it on on a whim. Gonna have to track this new album down.

a being that goes on two legs and is ungrateful (dyao), Thursday, 30 July 2009 14:47 (twelve years ago) link

first half of the new one might be their best stuff, second half is pretty disappointing. i stan hard for these guys despite the fact that they're never made a front to back good album.

wishes to be referred under the pseudonym of kronos (call all destroyer), Thursday, 30 July 2009 15:15 (twelve years ago) link

they are pretty insane live

omar little, Thursday, 30 July 2009 15:35 (twelve years ago) link

saddest thing evar--i was one of 5 ppl who saw them when they came to boston a couple years ago. they still brought it. i felt bad and bought a lot of merch.

wishes to be referred under the pseudonym of kronos (call all destroyer), Thursday, 30 July 2009 15:51 (twelve years ago) link

I actually think their last record WAS the only one that was good front-to-back.

Simon H., Thursday, 30 July 2009 16:03 (twelve years ago) link

eh it totally lost me after careful as you go. oh my is brutal lyrically by any standard nevermind the normally excellent drones guy.

wishes to be referred under the pseudonym of kronos (call all destroyer), Thursday, 30 July 2009 16:11 (twelve years ago) link

two weeks pass...

I may be totally biased here, but i really think it's pretty consistent throughout. Certainly more downbeat in general compared to their other albums (emphasised after the couple of heavier/faster moments at the start). but still, all killer no filler.

Jamie_ATP, Monday, 17 August 2009 15:45 (eleven years ago) link

especially Cold & Sober. wonderful.

Jamie_ATP, Monday, 17 August 2009 16:00 (eleven years ago) link

five months pass...

friend of mine has become obsessed with 'shark fin blues' and listening to it i can see why

your favorite toy dinosaur ruined my asshole (acoleuthic), Sunday, 24 January 2010 21:50 (eleven years ago) link

They won best live act at last weeks first Australian Rolling Stone awards :-)

Jamie_ATP, Sunday, 24 January 2010 21:52 (eleven years ago) link


Department of Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification (S-), Monday, 25 January 2010 01:20 (eleven years ago) link

impossible poll would be best drones album opener

dyao, Monday, 25 January 2010 03:06 (eleven years ago) link

jezebel > shark fin > nail it down > cockeyed lowlife > someone on your bond

Simon H., Monday, 25 January 2010 03:48 (eleven years ago) link

They won best live act at last weeks first Australian Rolling Stone awards :-)

i saw them play an absolutely crushing opening set for about 5 people a couple years ago. felt terrible and bought a bunch of merch.

call all destroyer, Monday, 25 January 2010 04:48 (eleven years ago) link

man how the memory fades, it was EXACTLY five people back in July

innocent snack attack victim (sic), Monday, 25 January 2010 04:57 (eleven years ago) link

lol file this under too much time on ilx

call all destroyer, Monday, 25 January 2010 13:58 (eleven years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Yeah the 1977 Drones from Manchester? I always wanted to hear them when I was fixated with '77 punk.I even wrote them on my pencil case at school without hearing them. Since read that they were a third division Eater - yeah, that bad.

They weren't bad at all - definitely up there with such luminaries as the Lurkers anyway. They didn't have punk authenticity cos they were a pub rock band before but I couldn't give a toss about that.

Colonel Poo, Saturday, 13 February 2010 02:19 (eleven years ago) link

seven months pass...

Pretty excited for lead singer Gareth Liddiard's solo album 'Strange Tourist'. First track to be previewed is very sparse, melancholy folk. Check it out:

Tim. E "LazRus" Lucas (Prose b4 Hoes...and Big Hoos), Sunday, 19 September 2010 04:56 (ten years ago) link

four months pass...

The Gareth Liddiard record is amazing, if stupidly long.

Simon H., Sunday, 30 January 2011 23:43 (ten years ago) link

Must be one of the most underrated/under-appreciated bands of the now eh? Feel like they are a secret club of people who know that they are amazing live and put out worthwhile records. Weird that a band with this high quality output and great live presence would go so unnoticed. I'm speaking only in the US. Are they quite big in the UK errr?

Badmotorfinger Debate Club (MFB), Monday, 31 January 2011 06:09 (ten years ago) link

no I really am excited!!

intern at pepe le pew research (Simon H.), Thursday, 15 April 2021 17:32 (three months ago) link

me too :)

it will be interesting...TFS is very idiosyncratic and unique but it's still approaching a conventional rock band in a peculiar way

the other two i associate way more with "freer" playing though obviously that's not all they can do

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 15 April 2021 18:02 (three months ago) link

I'm expecting/imagining a knottier cousin to the solo album.

intern at pepe le pew research (Simon H.), Thursday, 15 April 2021 18:05 (three months ago) link


pomenitul, Thursday, 15 April 2021 18:18 (three months ago) link

gareth and jim show was absolutely amazing, still awed by how good it was - gareth on acoustic but also using pedals and shredding - songs would often start folky and then surge towards crescendos of noise - the rhythmic interplay between the guitar and drums was frequently sublime - mix of solo album stuff, drones songs and a couple of covers - the thought of chris abrahams being added to this sound is fkn crazy - very very good music and i profoundly enjoyed drinking three (3) beers on a wednesday evening while listening to it

lemmy incaution (emsworth), Wednesday, 21 April 2021 21:22 (three months ago) link

sounds great. anyone who hasn't heard the solo album is missing out

intern at pepe le pew research (Simon H.), Wednesday, 21 April 2021 21:27 (three months ago) link

sounds Dawsonesque!

imago, Wednesday, 21 April 2021 21:30 (three months ago) link

thanks emsworth! nice to hear about it

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 21 April 2021 21:35 (three months ago) link

^^co-sign. Thanks for reporting back, feels good to read about and get the vibes of a real live gig

willem, Thursday, 22 April 2021 05:30 (three months ago) link

well jealous here

assert (MatthewK), Thursday, 22 April 2021 05:33 (three months ago) link

found a video of "taman shud" from one of the gareth & jim shows, certainly has me excited for the upcoming album

ufo, Thursday, 22 April 2021 05:38 (three months ago) link

Ah man that's huge

imago, Thursday, 22 April 2021 07:47 (three months ago) link

that's awesome

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 22 April 2021 12:55 (three months ago) link

That drum pattern is so sick

imago, Thursday, 22 April 2021 12:58 (three months ago) link

Right? The way it builds up but denys you a culmination is thrilling.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 22 April 2021 15:38 (three months ago) link

I only learned about this guy through TFS and had no idea about The Drones, also had no idea that the guy is like 46.

Anyway, that performance is great (unsurprising as Jim White rarely plays on something bad).

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Thursday, 22 April 2021 21:06 (three months ago) link

was talking with a friend yesterday about G.Liddiard being such an enduring force in aus. music - he's been pretty consistently outstanding for a couple of decades now

he feels at least somewhat informed by the Neil Young model of changing it up whenever things start getting familiar

(way back in the day the Drones used to cover Cortez the Killer and supported Neil Young on his 2013 tour with Crazy Horse - i think they were just booked for one show and then Neil asked for them to join the whole tour? that's what I heard anyway)

but he's also been really canny about building a sustainable life in music, in a way that gives him maximum freedom to keep doing interesting shit

lemmy incaution (emsworth), Thursday, 22 April 2021 21:51 (three months ago) link

This is such a good song. I find it weird that I didn't know anything about this guy until maybe the last year or so, and then didn't realize he had been a force in music for so long until even more recently.

the line "But I ain't some kinda bird shit mayor/Bolted to the town square" keeps running through my head

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 23 April 2021 14:12 (three months ago) link

one month passes...
They put a live song on bandcamp

willem, Wednesday, 26 May 2021 05:31 (two months ago) link

oh wow that's a great performance

checked the TFS facebook page and gareth's also confirmed a new TFS album is on the way soon too!

ufo, Wednesday, 26 May 2021 06:09 (two months ago) link


Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 26 May 2021 14:24 (two months ago) link

Gareth, AND Chris Abrahams?
WTF?? Who had THAT pairing on their bingo card?
AND Jim White???
A complete album from this trio????
Holy crap.... my brain can't process this beautiful bit of news right now.

co11ective, Wednesday, 26 May 2021 20:46 (two months ago) link

Someone please make me a Drones/TFS/Liddiard program, I feel sort of lost in all the material.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Tuesday, 1 June 2021 18:36 (one month ago) link

honestly just start w I See Seaweed and then bounce around. I find the early Drones records fun but sometimes more skronk than song, personally I don't really start loving them front to back till Gala Mill

other than that there's only two TFS albums (first is superior) and one 70 minute Liddiard solo folk record (which rules)

intern at pelican brief consulting (Simon H.), Tuesday, 1 June 2021 19:11 (one month ago) link

My first encounter with any of this material was the first TFS album and that remains my favorite thing of the whole lot. Love the second TFS album and agree the mid-late Drones albums are probably the better ones though it’s all good.

By coincidence I was listening to Gala Mill yesterday and the line “I tell you nothing’s really changed but I am not the same” jumped out and knifed me when I wasn’t expecting. Garett knows how to deliver his lines.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Tuesday, 1 June 2021 20:29 (one month ago) link

I think the second TFS is pretty much tied with the first for me now

yeah I See Seaweed is as good of a starting point as any, then go forward to Feelin Kinda Free & the TFS albums if you want to hear his work get noisier & post-punkier or go backwards to the previous Drones albums if you want to hear unadorned punk blues epics etc.

& Liddiard's solo album is just its own thing

i'm not personally huge on the pre-ISS stuff, it's not bad or anything but not really my thing enough to enjoy a whole album of

ufo, Tuesday, 1 June 2021 21:27 (one month ago) link

re early albums - second Drones album (that’s Wait Long… right?) was the one that really kicked off in Aus - well at least amongst a certain listenership, not household name shit - my Melb friends were already talking them up as a live proposition but Shark Fin Blues was pretty much an instant classic and would strongly rep for Baby2, Sitting on the Edge of the Bed Cryin, Locust, This Time - it’s a good LP, although perhaps not the place to start?

lemmy incaution (emsworth), Tuesday, 1 June 2021 21:34 (one month ago) link

yeah Wait Long By The River has always seemed like the most acclaimed one here, not my personal favourite by any means but there's still good stuff on it

ufo, Tuesday, 1 June 2021 21:36 (one month ago) link

I'll go left field and recommend Havilah as a good place to start. The songs are amazing.

assert (matttkkkk), Wednesday, 2 June 2021 03:23 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

new TFS "G.A.F.F." here at 33:20

video coming soon here:

album Deep States out 20 August

ufo, Tuesday, 22 June 2021 23:58 (one month ago) link

oh album has leaked already before it even got a proper announcement lol

ufo, Wednesday, 23 June 2021 00:03 (one month ago) link

and it's in terrible quality so i'm not gonna bother listening yet

but here's the tracklist

The Greatest Story Ever Told
Blue Beam Baby
Bumma Sanger
The Donkey
Reporting Of A Failed Campaign
New Romeo Agent
Legal Ghost
The Confinement Of The Quarks

ufo, Wednesday, 23 June 2021 00:06 (one month ago) link

I like "G.A.F.F." a lot but I'm definitely noticing more clunkers in Gareth's lyrics than usual

intern at pelican brief consulting (Simon H.), Wednesday, 23 June 2021 15:54 (one month ago) link

it's fine but doesn't have me excited like TFS at their best do

i feel much more excited about the Springtime album than this one but i'm sure it will be decent at the very least

ufo, Wednesday, 23 June 2021 22:37 (one month ago) link

Bandcamp alerted to this yesterday but that video (or probably just that this is my second listen!) has made "G.A.F.F." more endearing.

It's getting weird how much more receptive I am to TFS than the Drones. (Or at least early Drones. I have a couple of pre-ISS Drones CDs here somewhere, but mainly just remember wishing they sounded like "Jezebel" 100% of the time. More my problem than theirs, no doubt.)

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Thursday, 24 June 2021 05:56 (one month ago) link

I haven't been paying super close attention (probably spent more time watching them live than I have listening to their recordings) - but really enjoyed G.A.F.F - perfect proportions of funky/rockin/gonzo - awesome BVs (I feel great deployment of BVs is a significant ingredient in Liddiard secret sauce) - when I was listening I thought 'nothing else really sounds like this' and that always feels good

I guess 'laser-accurate scattershot imagery Gareth rap about the fucked up fucken world' is kind of a staple song form now - is Tamam Shud the apotheosis of this one? - but it's still effective as hell and I dug it here albeit I didn't really parse the lyrics closely

lemmy incaution (emsworth), Thursday, 24 June 2021 06:12 (one month ago) link

ha yep and just watched the video and it definitely sells it great - speaking of cool BVs (I guess really it's a pre-chorus or something) that moment when you first Fiona and Erica in the hotel is so great

lemmy incaution (emsworth), Thursday, 24 June 2021 06:19 (one month ago) link

yeah i'm really enthusiastic about g.a.f.f.

he's straight spittin, love the cadences and density of the lyrics, good funky groove

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 24 June 2021 15:46 (one month ago) link

Listening to the new song, think I have T.F.S.F. unfortunately

imago, Saturday, 26 June 2021 18:44 (one month ago) link

am I bad because I don't like the Spring-Time performance of Penumbra?

assert (matttkkkk), Sunday, 27 June 2021 02:15 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

not feeling this one

ufo, Tuesday, 20 July 2021 22:42 (one week ago) link

the ilx backlash begins

I wasn't crazy about GAFF but I like this one.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Tuesday, 20 July 2021 23:42 (one week ago) link

I really did not like GAFF. Will check this out.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 21 July 2021 02:04 (one week ago) link

(after 30 seconds) hm, kinda sounds like Pram!

into it as a more gonzo, knuckle-draggin version of that retro-exotica vibe - might have to give it a few more listens to see if it opens up as a song - but if the last one felt in danger of being a tiiiiny bit stock, this tidily avoids sounding at all familiar and i like that

can imagine it working in context on an album better than as a single

lemmy incaution (emsworth), Wednesday, 21 July 2021 03:00 (one week ago) link

Yeah, not feeling this either. Ah well

imago, Wednesday, 21 July 2021 09:39 (one week ago) link

The album will presumably still have some good stuff on it

imago, Wednesday, 21 July 2021 09:40 (one week ago) link

The tune itself is quite nice, but it needs to go places, preferably after the first minute or so.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 21 July 2021 09:47 (one week ago) link

the vocals aren't mixed well & it's fairly aimless as a tune

ufo, Wednesday, 21 July 2021 09:56 (one week ago) link

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