THE DRONES NATIONAL TOUR, WAIT LONG BY THE RIVER AND THE BODIES OF YOUR ENEMIES WILL FLOAT BY
Good Lord would you look at the time! Nearing on exactly 10 years since Australian rock legends The Drones released their spectacular sophomore LP, winner of the inaugural Australian Music Prize, under the thoroughly ominous and word-filled title 'Wait long by the river and the bodies of your enemies will float by'. To celebrate this they are going on a grand tour, and what grand tour would be at all complete without visiting their beautiful hometown of Perth.
Although not the only item having been scavenged from their lavish back-catalogue, with their recently founded label under the unique title of Tropical F*ck Storm they are re-releasing every one of their stellar discography whilst having a new album in the works. This and selling the merch that has been lingering here and there .
But now, on to the details of what makes this self-described 'victory lap' so special. 'Wait long by the river..' is not only difficult to abbreviate, but is also what I would consider an breakout Australian success. Founded on the sturdy grounds of their debut LP: 'Here Come the Lies', 'Wait Long..' takes a stab at what could loosely be described as more scenic, poppier route (or as close as they come to seeming like pop). Veering wildly from driving and thumping ballads into startlingly downbeat odes to a troublingly isolated youth.
Kicking it all off is the melodic and depressed imagery of Shark Fin Blues, in which front man Gareth Liddiard's exquisitely lower-middle class poetics lovingly grapple with the cacophony of rock and noise which he and his band elaborately produces. That seems high praise, but if you need a more solid proof than the words I can provide, this song was voted 'greatest Australian song of all time' on a Triple J poll 3 years after its release in 2009.
The album winds it way through a detailed plethora of sounds and harmonies, including a personal favourite of the distressingly dejected 'Locusts'. This discordant tune of rural Australian love, suicide notes and alcoholism is a tragically honest piece. Featuring ominous piano chords building into an oppressively droning and chaotic climax. This track contrasts perfectly with The Drones' usual aurally heavy tendencies and features such beautiful lines as “they built a prison and it tempered in the sun / it rose up off a plateau like the last tooth in a gum” amidst other beautiful prose.
If you cant already tell I am highly recommending this album and this tour, being one of the most fantastic bands to ever come out of Australia, and touring with the one and only Melbourne-based BATPISS, it would be a disservice to your ears and minds to miss out on this tour. As Gareth Liddiard himself said, its going to be a proper good time.