Drones – ‘Exiled’ (Album Review)
Punk’s roots have always been political, but in recent decades its pop-enamoured descendants have pulled focus away from politics and onto more adolescent concerns. Getting dumped, not being invited to parties, and being in love with Stacy’s mum are undoubtedly less than ideal situations – but they pale in comparison to the struggles faced by the far less fortunate every day. As a concept album about the European refugee crisis, Drones’ latest is unlikely to make you feel wistfully nostalgic, or pine for the days when you really did worry if nobody would like you when you turned twenty-three.
“This album pokes a pointed finger into the listener’s chest and demands they wake up”
Exiled casts trendy pop leanings aside in favour of a direct, raw sound set up to deliver a sequence of scathing lyrics. This album pokes a pointed finger into the listener’s chest and demands they wake up – and while the music itself may not break any boundaries, Drones make their intentions clear at every turn.
The message is what matters here.
The lines drawn between punk rock, alt-rock, and post-hardcore get more blurry every day, and Exiled blends the above into a chaotic and visceral attack. More low-key moments do pop up, standout acoustic track Black Blood being a case in point, but for the most part Drones stick to full-tilt aggression broken up with just enough dynamic variation to keep things engaging. Once Exiled is through, you’ll have plenty of time to research the facts behind the songs – and as a quick Google search indicates, there’s more than enough information out there to keep the curious occupied for quite a while.
LTK RATING: 80%
Exiled drops March 9; pre-order it on iTunes here.
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