Our Hell Is Right Here

Written by: PP on 13/05/2021 02:02:09

Drones are a punk rock band from London, UK whose sound is somewhere between AFI and Rise Against, just with a female vocalist instead. "Our Hell Is Right Here" is their sophomore album that delivers gloomy vibes and echoing soundscapes with a breakneck speed approach, occasionally resulting in a fantastic sing-along chorus. Regrettably, through forty minutes those highlights spread few and far in between, with most of the record dragged down by mediocre, dime-a-dozen punk anthems that aren't bad on their own but lack inspiration and character to strike through to a seasoned punk listener.

Let's dissect the good stuff first. Songs like "Manipulate" and "Learn" are great. Here, the unfiltered snarl of vocalist Lois McDougall captures some real issues from her personal life and enshrines them in catchy, aggressively delivered punk rock that's memorable from the get-go. Hardcore punk undertones are aplenty here, and overall Drones sound like they let go of the traditional songwriting envelope and rely on raw passion instead. This is where they sound believable, rammed with urgency and immediacy, which is exactly the recipe needed to deliver this type of sound home.

If only they could keep it up throughout. Instead, the record has songs like "Epitaph", which is just about the very definition of filler. It rolls forward without any recognizable emotion, with howled, caustic vocals and standard fare instrumentation you'll hear on so many other records. It's exactly the same problem as displayed by Templeton Pek on "Watching The World Come Undone": your sound emits clear undertones of bands much bigger than you that have no doubt been influential to your musicianship, yet it feels more like cheap imitation than tribute.

For every solid track on the 13-track album, you'll find other examples where it's difficult to point out exactly what Drones do wrong, just that it isn't particularly great or memorable. It's a hallmark sign of a record that's decent but lacks originality. Indeed, "Our Hell Is Right Here" owes credit to records like "Sing The Sorrow" and "Appeal To Reason", but without enough great songs to compete in the same leagues.


Download: Manipulate, Learn, Our Hell Is Right Here
For the fans of: AFI, Templeton Pek, Rise Against, Creeper
Listen: Facebook

Release date 12.02.2021
Thousand Island / Lockjaw Records

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