Like everyone else, UK quintet Drones haven’t had the easiest past couple of years, filled with an array of personal issues and the general global catastrophe. Still, they’re back with their second record ‘Our Hell Is Right Here’, but they might’ve fallen into the trap of a sophomore slump with it.
An otherwise stellar vocal performance from Lois McDougall drowns in the mass of songs that sadly sound the same. McDougall shows her all on these tracks, her voice drenched with emotion, but instrumentally there’s not a lot of it coming through.
It all starts off with a promising drum fill intro into the very Rise Against-esque ‘Please Vacate The Planet’, but the further you go, the harder it is to tell which track you’re actually on.
An array of other bands fly through your mind during the listening process, such as Neck Deep, Pierce The Veil, and Chapter & Verse – basically all your favourite pop-punk bands reigning the last decade of the genre. But that’s as far as it goes.
A show of personality is at a lack with the majority of this record. The recording, production, and mixing of it all is incredibly clean and well done, taking even more away from the already stripped character of it. Add to that a repetitive motive lyrically, mind you that’s despite the fact that the overall content of them is incredibly personal to McDougall‘s struggles, and there’s not a lot left to pick apart to infuse some individuality into the whole of it.
‘Our Hell Is Right Here’ is definitely not a bad record. It’s easy listening and sonically pleasing, something to pop on in the background at any given time, if you don’t plan on wanting to focus on what’s actually happening at any point. Talent is very clearly present. Turning it into personality and originality is the next obstacle that Drones have to overcome, and they can easily rise and shoot to the top with whatever’s coming next.