"Gala Mill" CD
All Tomorrow's Parties
Genres: indie rock, country rock,
Combining dirty rock and Southern twang
seamlessly, The Drones don't disappoint on Gala Mill, a
disc full of slowish folky songs and high-power rock romps. Despite
the varying tempos and energy levels, though, the mood remains
distinctly gritty on Gala, with even the band's sensitive side
exuding a certain bluntness.
On the rockier end of things, we've got a number
of fine treats on Gala Mill; opener "Jezebel" is a plodding,
stubborn slab of pure tension that drags your blood stump of a body
from its dinged-up bumper. "I Don't Ever Want to Change," meanwhile,
is the disc's melodic single - it's kind of like a bruised up version
of a Cracker anthem. Cataclysmic "I'm Here Now," on the
spends five slow minutes building up to a gruesome climax and "I
Looked Down the Line and Wondered" is snarly but melodically perfect.
Then we come to the slower, country-folkish
tunes that occupy every other track on the disc. "Dog Eared" and
"Words From The Executioner To Alexander Pearce" are bare-bones songs
with plodding tempos and eventual climaxes, while female-led "Work For
Me" and country-styled "Are You Leaving the Country"
stay slow and loose. Nine minute
"Sixteen Straws," meanwhile, is a pure guitar and voice narrative
showcasing Gareth Liddiard's unique voice and vivid lyrical
Overall, Gala Mill accomplishes
all that could be hoped for - it's a consistently entertaining record
with a unique, successful sound. As far as the modern alt country /
folk scene goes, this is at the top. For me, The Drones
are right with Okkervil River and Magnolia Electric Co
on today's scene; Gala Mill is simply proof.
mp3s (from thedrones.com.au):
i don't ever want to change
Fun Fact: Gala Mill
was recorded on a ten thousand acre farm in Tasmania.
[Vitals: 9 tracks, 54:51,