‘Drones That Don’t Kill’ is the follow-up EP to Dublin based neo-psychedelic/noise rock collective, Sun Mahshene’s 2015 EP ‘When the Bomb Drops’. The band (Nathan Henderson – guitars, vocals; Iain McGinn – guitars; Martin Fagan – bass; David Murray – drums, percussion) have already built a reputation for crafting dense atmospherics and steering sonic frequencies wherever they so please with the latter EP and debut ‘On Blood’. ‘Drones That Don’t Kill’ is no exception.
The EP opens with the air-raid siren-like tones, throbbing bassline and percussive ramshackle of No Control, where overdriven guitar oscillations wave in and out of wailing lead vocals. Though intense, the track is inherently hypnotic despite some of the more melodic guitar parts being overshadowed by deafening soundscapes. On Shine Your Light the band channel their inner Ride, driven by warm, fuzzy, washed out, psychedelic guitars but an undeniably pop-sensible chorus.
Something of a departure from the prior two tracks, EP highlight The End features additional vocals from Lydia Des Dolles of Daag Hur notoriety, offering a lovely foil to Henderson’s dominating baritone. Though as noisy as its counterparts, the track features a pounding rhythm section that would have as fitting a place on a ‘70s glam rock track.
This is followed up by You which is bolstered by a devil may care nonchalance. Though sonically in keeping with the rest of the material, it is at this point that the group’s signature sound starts to overstay its welcome. Bonus track I Love You is a welcome treat. Beneath all of the hiss and fire of McGinn and Henderson’s overcharged guitars is a sickly sweet pop tune, owing something to the noise-pop stalwarts of yesteryear The Jesus and Mary Chain.
Their drones may not kill, but they have the potential to hypnotise and mesmerise. Within these five tracks, Sun Mahshene have added a little more colour to their sonic palette. A worthwhile EP, ‘Drones That Don’t Kill‘ makes for a rewarding listen and a good teaser for a future full-length.