Dronen is a three-piece band from California made up of Daniel Olivas (vocals, guitar), Victor Aguilar (bass) and Carlos Chevez (drums). They recently released their second effort entitled 284 Days, which tips its hat to early ‘90s alternative music while simultaneously creating their own sound.
One of the first things I noticed was how big their sound was despite very few overdubs. The band is able to create a dynamic, energy-filled journey through the five songs by incorporating subtle effects and inventive changes. I was impressed by some of the sounds Olivas was able to get out of his guitar. It was obvious to me that he took some time getting the right tone. You hear everything from high sustained leads, to crunchy rhythms and even some seriously tweaked manipulative effects like chorus, delay and reverb.
The band kicks things off with “The Loss Of All Things Real.” It starts off with jagged strategically placed distorted guitar chords in which you hear the reverb and rails slowly dissipate as Olivas sings, “when i lost my head i was only mad reservations in love the conservation of luck so i wrote my friend and it's what he said that you are never alone you are never alone.”
About a minute in the band unleashes and I was reminded of the same guitar tone that Billy Corgan got on Siamese Dream. Olivas’ vocals are a mix between a nasally angst and a cathartic release. His voice often comes to boiling points where are you can hear him pushing it as hard as he can.
“Analog Pathogens (Digital Remnants)” starts with impressive tom work and reverb laced guitars. It’s a tumbling verse that starts to sizzle once the distorted power chords are introduced. The band continues to impress with the last two tracks “Tonight” and “Lights Out.” “Lights Out” is arguably the most infectious song out of the five.
284 Days isn’t reinventing the wheel but it does deliver well-written songs from a band who knows how to deliver them. Recommended.
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