Album Review: The Drones, I See Seaweed

It’s been four years since The Drones have featured in the Australian music scene, but their newly released album I See Seaweed has made up for this absence in two ways.The songs on this album are so bloody long that the first time you listen to it you think these grungy four-to-nine-minute tales will never end. With the title track “I See Seaweed” being the first of the duration ordeals at 8:37 minutes, it’s obvious to see why “How To See Through Fog” was their first single release as it is the shortest song on the entire album. It isn’t much to their detriment in any way, it’s really just the first run through you think they took a leaf out of Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell album because the songs just linger in the background for more than you’re radio-edited ears are used to. But after one or two plays your ears seem to open up to the idea of why the musical solos dominate between verses. However do be warned, the last song is the longest at more than 9 minutes, so it also takes a while to actually get into the album and get out of it.The second reason as to how this album makes up for the band’s absence is simple; it’s genuinely decent. We all know of those really cool bands that hideaway forever, go mainstream and produce songs that scream to the YOLO and swag nation and this album isn’t one of those. The grungy atmosphere which is The Drones stays concurrent and satisfying throughout.The melodies like those found in “Laika” are of dark and eerie surroundings, almost like sinister fables where some type of story or moral is meant to be discovered or learnt. Coupled with bittersweet vocals, which toss up darkness and depth in other songs, they are matched with instrumentals that ricochets an emotional battle between torment and self-reassurance that embody a torn conscious; “Yea I’m all I need I am/ finally on my own”—lyrics from “Nine Eyes”.Other more vocal songs like “A Moat You Can Stand In” and “Grey Leader” have that trademark intensity of mellow singing to raspy screaming, which lead singer Gareth Liddiard  is renowned for, and yet when it comes to their single “How To See Through Fog” we hear none of this. It is a little more mainstream than other songs on the album in that respect, but is definitely one of the standouts with its sweet melodic keyboard and somewhat beachy vibes; not to mention a wicked guitar solo.All in all, The Drones have this unique attractive pub-rock quality about them and I See Seaweed is what the Australian music industry need right now. It’s dark, different and strong, unlike some others currently on the airwaves. Its raw grungy tales with Aussie influence and accents are filled with diverse emotions: anger, lust, sadness, love, and depression. Gareth Liddiard’s vocals and the band’s instrumental interjections express this sense of deceit and insanity that just makes this album so utterly relatable to our dark sub-conscious.I’d definitely be in line if these guys were playing at my Aimee Malotsis

March 21st 2013
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