The Drones at The Rosemount, 2015
And so, after numerous (well, two) promotional pieces for their arrival, Melbourne rock legends The Drones made their much anticipated stop-off in lead singer Gareth's origins of WA. The band themselves had brought their friends, the rivetingly punk Batpiss, who offered an intense introduction with barely a moments notice, diving into the nights raucous riot.
Batpiss rambled gruffly onto the stage, their sounds emerging rapidly in an enthralling and aggressive fashion. With very few words they let their music do the talking, or more aptly, the screaming. With nary a break between one violent melody and the next they seemed to plough through their doom-ishly punk set-list with no need for a breath of stuffy air from the quickly filling room.
And they played fervently for their spaciously allotted time until the final scream and piercing guitar chord rang out over punching bass, quickly vacating the stage almost as swiftly and silently as they had arrived. Needless to say, if you prefer your music with screamed vocals, cacophonic (apparently a word) guitar, groovily droning bass-lines, and names you cant say around kids, then Batpiss might be perfect for you.
And so, after a lengthy 30 minute break in which our ears cooled down from melting point, we stood with hearty anticipation whilst watching the gear being set up. Finally ready for the band which the now numerous crowd had come here to see. The Drones walked their way into our sights to welcoming applause. Whereas their counterparts were mostly silent beneath their titanic sounds, front-man Gareth Liddiard was all to ready to engage in some blatantly Aussie 'banter' about how far Perth is behind the rest of the modern world. Nevertheless once he was finished poking fun it was head on into the album which we were all here to celebrate, their seminal sophomore 'Wait Long by the River and the Bodies of Your Enemies Will Float By'. Crashing in spectacular fashion through their iconic single 'Shark Fin Blues' which has won them so much deserved acclaim.
Following this heady start we saw them gracefully waltz through the rest of the tracks in album order, with notable highlights being the seemingly crowd favourite (and my own) rendition of 'Locust', a heartrending ballad of youth in a stereotypically isolated Australian town, and its slow tearing at a growing man's psyche. Seemingly effortlessly they continued onwards, striking blow after blow in perfect rhythm mirrored in the driving beat of their mesmerising track 'Sitting on the Edge of the Bed Cryin'.
And finally, but maybe still too soon, the end came after a solid hour and a half of reminiscent performing. Wrapping up on melancholic yet melodic masterpiece 'This Time', we bade a momentary farewell as they followed tradition and hid behind a door for a minute or so before coming back out for a not-so-suprising encore cover of Kev Carmody's 'River of Tears', a gorgeous but entirely bereaved piece.
All in all the Drones did not disappoint at all, we went in with high expectations which proved completely accurate as they did what they do best, make noisy and introspective harsh rock music as Gareth wails gutturally, screams, and plays cradling his guitar in some sort of emotional turmoil before us. When it was all said and done, many tinnies were cracked, and it was, as promised, a proper good time.