Words by: Laurent Shervington
Up until October last year it would have been a fair comment to say that Melbourne based rock band The Drones had stuck to their laurels instrumentally in their 6 album career, despite their obvious knack for exceptional songwriting and jarring lyrical snarl.
On October the 12th the band debuted their single ‘Taman Shud‘, a track which presented all out discontent for current Australian culture, spitting shade on Anzacary, the Murdoch press and of course Mr Andrew Bolt.
The song was exceptionally raw and engaging, with songwriter Gareth Liddiard showing off his lyricism and delievery at its prime: pissed off, wordy and maybe a few degrees insane.
Backing up Liddiard’s shell shower is what can only be described as ‘bubblegum industrial’, with a brittle but catchy guitar line holding the floor while a tumbling drum beat and bassline held the groove.
Fast forward to today, with the release of another new song from the band’s upcoming album ‘Feelin Kinda Free’ released, which furthers the band’s newfound affinity for a more experimental backing.
‘To Think That I Once Loved You’ is a seething anti-love song of sorts, with stark imagery of love run dry drifting through the track.
Soundtracked by minimal volume swells and a downtrodden drum beat, Liddiard sounds vastly alone and sparse in the song’s verses. With the omission of the usual harrowing blues riff, he’s allowed a greater range to tap into the isolated feelings that were somewhat prominent on ‘Strange Tourist’ but never explored this far.
Only in the huge chorus is Liddiard joined by lifelike tones, aided by Melbourne band ‘Harmony’, who provide the backing harmony (good one Gareth) to evoke Liddiard’s own heartbreak on a grand scale.
As for the video, director Chris Matthews of Defero Productions does a perfect job of mirroring the track’s feelings, with a blinding white light backdrop rendering the close ups and mid shots of the extended band as predominately black and white, portraying a bleak environment and adding weight to the isolated feelings Liddiard is expressing.
‘TTTILY’ is an essential listen for any fan of The Drones, showing them at a newfound peak of versatility – while still sounding as iconic as ever.