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Music Review: Drinks ****

Lorna Irvine reviews the recent concert at the CCA.

On record, the avant pop of Drinks is a little off-kilter; live, it becomes a ferocious, snarling beast—a perfect fusion of beauty and noise. Backed by a fantastic, propulsive rhythm section, swelling them to a quartet, Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley's songs take on new, unexpected forms.

So while the Presley-led jangle of Laying Down Rock zips along nicely, Spilt the Beans unravels completely, as if all of the instruments have been warped in the sun.

Le Bon, performing in an oversized denim shirt, has her hands over her eyes for some of the set, saying to the sound and light crew, ''It's been a loooooong tour—can we have the lights down a little bit, please?'' and elsewhere, she's like an eccentric music teacher, half-grinning, half-swaying in her own little bubble. Presley, in black, is more guarded and enigmatic, saying little. His guitar is a thing of wonder, providing face-melting solos: the perfect foil to Le Bon's sweeter vocal moments and choppy guitar.

There are definite Krautrock influences, and on a full-blown psychedelic Tim, Do I Like That Dog? a series of massive solos that could out-blast My Bloody Valentine in their early 90s glory.

On a wonky pop Cheerio, Le Bon almost sounds possessed, and the riffs and drumming on highlight She Walks So Fast come in and out of focus. This is the secret to Drinks' sound: strange tunings and woozy harmonies which bend like acid nursery rhymes.

But when hit single and title track of their debut Hermits on Holiday bursts into Technicolor halfway through, there is no finer summer single this year—perfect for jaded Autumn palates everywhere.



Hermits On Holiday is out on Heavenly Recordings

Tags: music

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