Boomkat Product Review:
The Drones’ ‘Wait Long By The River’ was quite a revelation back in 2005. A great album of garage rock revisionism, it was even awarded Australia’s version of the Mercury Prize ahead of big hitters like Wolfmother and The Go-Betweens. Gala Mill sees the band expanding their sound. Opener, ‘Jezebel’ sees the band exploring a Birthday Party-influenced howling discord across its right minutes, while ‘Dog Eared’ follows up with a surprisingly straight classic rock sound that’s in the territory of a Nick Cave-fronted Crazy Horse. This tone persists through much of the album: ‘I Looked Down The Line And Wondered’ sounding like a ‘70s Rolling Stones ballad, while the final two songs, ‘Sixteen Straws’ and the appropriately titled ‘Are You leaving For The Country’ are sheer bluesy Americana swagger. Only references to being “a long way to Brisbane” give them away. Though their garage rock roots are still showing on more raucous tracks like ‘I Don’t Ever Want To Change’, there’s an introspective desolate quality that dominates The Drones’ new material, which can only be a sign of maturity and of good things to come in the future for the band. Great stuff.