• Record Label: ATP
  • Release Date: Feb 17, 2009
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. This is the sound you need to get for right now, and it’s built to last well past that.
  2. An outstanding record, and one with endless pleasures and pains to be wrung out of it.
  3. Havilah will remain as yet another great record from one of the most talented acts currently playing rock music.
  4. 84
    The effort drags a tad in its center, but the heaviness of The Drones' material has never been devalued by a bit of lag. [Winter 2009, p.106]
  5. If the Drones have grown a touch more polished and focused with time, it's not at the expense of creating compelling music--if anything, Havilah even more clearly places the band as one of Australia's best rock bands ever.
  6. This more relaxed style allows a somewhat more forthright exploration of the defeat/desolation that runs through much of Liddiard’s material. In fact, the structure of the album as a whole reflects this neatly.
  7. 80
    This cleaner-sounding set finds the quartet's elemental power now yielding to poise, thier speaker-bleeding blues and jagged riffs leavened by folk shimmer and country jangle. [Mar 2009, p.110]
  8. Havilah broadens the Drones' sonic palette and continues to carve out a sound that is uniquely theirs, and in that sense it's an accomplishment, but wrestling with the record's dark subject matter makes it a difficult listen.
  9. What Havilah does is jump up and down on the rotting carcasses of The Vines and Jet, stabbing them again and again with a flag that says “Miles. Better. Than. You. Ever. Were. Mate.”
  10. 70
    Sidewinding bass lines and slashing guitar help pull together ballads of marital woe ('The Drifting Housewife'), epic rock­outs ('I Am the Supercargo'), and rousing takes on regret ('Your Acting's Like the End of the World').
  11. Not a bad addition to the Antipodean canon then, and an interesting mix of the macho, the sensitive, the timeless and the "cool right now"--although one suspects that the latter is not something the band have deliberately aspired to.
  12. A little too heavily indebted to fellow Aussies Nick Cave and The Triffids' late David McComb, even if that's not a bad place to be coming form. [Mar 2009, p.105]
  13. 60
    In Gareth Liddiard, the quartet have a singer-songwriter and guitarist of dark intensity, and his vivid narratives draw on the landscape and character of his homeland in a delicately melancholic way. [May 2009, p.85]
  14. Restraint dominates elsewhere, but brillance comes when The Drones throw musical sanity to the wind. [Winter 2009, p.78]
  15. The thickset blues-rock of Havilah, the fifth studio album from the Drones, makes for opaque and impenetrable listening.

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