Havilah

 Havilah
There can be beauty in isolation. Embracing the latter in a new forest home/studio, Gareth Liddiard and his Australian crew found the former, as well as fear, sobriety, dissolution and apocalypse. On their fourth album, the Drones push the limits of their ecstatic joy and aggression to new heights. "The Minotaur" climaxes in a roar that rivals countrymen and antecedents the Birthday Party. On more meandering tracks like "I Am the Supercargo," the band show how to extend their energies, often cranking out sparks when you expect the quiet inhale to come. Even the more interior tales like "Careful as You Go" and "Cold and Sober" still abrade with jagged spasms. New guitarist Dan Luscombe contributes post-Morricone serpentine leads and the rhythm section of Fiona Kitschin and Michael Noga are hammer and nails. It's an antipodean blues with twice the chaos and none of the melodrama, making for a sturdy, thrilling album. (ATP)