Review of Hermits On Holiday Album by Drinks

Drinks is the collaboration of White Fence main-man Tim Presley and Cate Le Bon. Presley has made a name for himself by creating hazy psychedelic rock whilst Le Bon has spent the last several years making pretty and tender indie/folk. The two have come together to bring you 'Hermits On Holiday' their first album with this band and it sees the two fusing Presley's taste for strange with Le Bon's sense of tune to make a lo-fi record that's experimental, catchy and delightful.

Drinks Hermits On Holiday Album

'Laying Down Rock' kicks this thing off. It's summery and friendly and the beat is quite kooky the way it skips along, but keeps halting after every few bars. It's more or less is the same beat for the whole song, so it's firmly stuck in your head once it's done. It's so warm and fuzzy that it might as well be a kitten snuggling up to you.

'Focus On The Street' is slightly more fuzzy and once again twee, although the riff is more jolted, the way it just rapidly hits you with one note. It's not played with much strength, aggression or loudness, so it feels like a cartoon character comically beating another if anything. It's effective none the less just like PG rated violence in movies can still be entertaining. The vocals and lyrics also inject some quirkiness the way Presley just goes 'I can't believe I'm eighteen, now I'm twentyyyyyyyyy', in random and dazed fashion. For 'Cannon Mouth' there's some kind of delay on Le Bon's vocals that make her sound like she's underwater, while the playful the bass and bright synths mean the instrumentation is just as aquatic sounding.

'She Walks So Fast' is more Bluesy and the band make note of this by randomly going 'rock n roll!' at one point. This song is quite unpredictable as the guitars keep stopping and starting again, and don't play in a straightforward rhythm, so you never know where they're going. Drinks like to be free and loose with their timing, making their music feel liberating.

This is especially shown on 'Tim, Do I Like That Dog'. Like the instrumentation on much of this record, the bass and drums just stumble along like they've had a few drinks (no pun intended). It's loopy as single notes are just endlessly tremolo picked and drums take on a mind of their own while Le Bon just repeats various ways of saying 'Tim, do I like that dog?' Another slice of weird, wacky and wonderful. 'Cheerio' continues with the extremely free and loose playing as the notes are sparsely played while wirey keys just float about like a ghosts, but given its tone it sounds like ghosts from an old Nintendo game. This makes for a track that's both hazy and mechanical.

Overall Drinks have delivered a record that's chilled out and highly enjoyable. There's a strong sense of freedom to the music displayed here, in the sense that Presley and Le Bon have a relaxed - almost carefree - approached to making music. Drinks don't care about playing in perfect timing and keeping things neat. 'Hermits On Holiday' doesn't reinvent the wheel of lo-fi, but that's not the point of it. There is no agenda or goal to this project, it's just two musicians having a blast with no restrictions as well as keeping it easy going. You can have a lot of fun with this as well.

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