Dublin band The Northern Drones deal in a dark brand of psychedelia. They have been quietly knocking out albums over the years undisturbed by media attention. Their fourth album Psychic Waves mainly deals in vaguely sixties sounding dark psychedelia. The opening two tracks Ten Miles Down and Leave It will have listeners scurrying for their black polo necks and opaque shades. Which is a good thing.
Most of the tracks have the same type of instrumentation, electric guitar, backwards sounding noises and woozy, indistinct vocals. This has the effect of making the album sound a little ‘one-trick’.
Not Our Place is one of the stronger tracks, sounding a little like a very dark version of early REM, while Less Is More has echoes of Berlin-era Bowie. Earth Walker is more pedestrian, like a filler track on a Charlatans album, while later tracks Steeple and Lucify are a little dirge-y, lacking in real dynamics.
If the band can transcend their influences (13th Floor Elevators, Doors, Velvet Underground) they could certainly set themselves apart from the rest of the Irish music scene.