Drones, Via Tania, Puerto Muerto & the Balkaners | Schubas | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Drones, Via Tania, Puerto Muerto & the Balkaners Critic's Choice Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Tue., April 7, 9 p.m. 2009

I don’t generally care for artists who, on first listen, seem to be merely imitating somebody more original. So considering how much Gareth Liddiard sounds like Nick Cave on the Drones’ latest, last year’s Havilah (ATP), it’s kind of amazing that the record keeps knocking me out. This Melbourne four-piece has always shown a kinship with fellow Australians like the Birthday Party, the Scientists, and Venom P. Stinger—all bands that pursued old-fashioned punk-rock catharsis with little regard for their physical well-being. I haven’t yet seen the Drones play, but they damn sure sound dangerous—they pump out a massive, swaggering squall, full of loose-limbed menace, and they handle it with frighteningly casual precision. While Liddiard’s gruff, hectoring intensity is unmistakably the music’s focal point—he spits out lines like “Just get some Heinz baked beans / We’ll eat your dog, bury our dead” with unbridled contempt—the ace up the band’s sleeve is new guitarist Dan Luscombe, who replaced Rui Pereira in late 2006. He can switch between postpunk caterwauling, country-rock twang, and Crazy Horse slashing without a hiccup, and he does. Via Tania and Puerto Muerto & the Balkaners open. —Peter Margasak

Price: $12, $10 in advance


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