Drinks appears to be the bizarro-side-project of Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley, in which they cast aside their usual singer-songwriter / hardcore punk focuses and get unusual. Hermits On Holiday has odd spoken word over the top of nervously bouncy instrumentals, and forms a satisfying, and unexpected experience. On Heavenly.
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This makes a sort of sense. Cate Le Bon has been confounding us for the last few years with records that sprint between singer-songwriter strums ‘n’ observations and laid-back psychedelia, while Tim Presley has long abandoned his time with punk music in favour of all the weird excess bits that make up bouncy psych rock. He’s living out a self-imposed tenure as White Fence, but here he joins Le Bon for a record that’s sometimes pretty, often abstract and full of accidentally-on-purpose riffing. Call it a side project if you want, but they both sound a lot louder than they usually do, and in my opinion that’s how you measure things.
Here they are, then: Drinks, a band of ineffable guitar bits straightened out by rhythms that mostly stick to the wall. They solo their way out of solos on tracks like “Focus On The Street” but keep everything up to scratch tempo wise, hoping to convince you everything’s fine when actually it’s all on fire. “Cannon Mouth” scopes Le Bon’s voice until it sounds like she’s singing from within a shallow puddle, the cymbals smacked carelessly as synth blares in the distance.
With their meandering sound, Drinks sound kinda like that dial-up post-punk we used to make do with before things became slick and gloomy. They wander into songs, rattle off a couple quips and then fill the thing to the brim with whatever. Whacky guitars, yes; goofy basslines too, and a lack of working or conclusion. On “She Walks So Fast” they sound like the Raincoats tuning up (aka the Raincoats), while the record’s lead single slash title track nearly climbs down to Le Bon’s chill surrealism, but falls into a Deerhoof jam. We’re a far cry from the wonderful rock magic of “Are You With Me Now?”, but together Le Bon and Presley make good abstract painting.
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