Drones For Queens – Scraps Of Mercy
Drones for Queens was formed in Philadelphia in 2011 with the intent to play fast, raw, direct, and write songs in an undiluted form. The band has released two EPs, two splits, and one full-length album. “Scraps of Mercy” is the band’s first release since 2018 and confronts a world going mad. “Scraps of Mercy” is a culmination of material written primarily from 2018 to 2021. We wanted to expand the boundaries a bit and also maybe add a few tips of the cap to some of our most long-standing, classic influences as well. Lyrically, this album is a coming to terms. Songs about everyday punishers, war to come, confronting vices. It is a lament for a society that places no value on human life, allows the tools of war to be used to slaughter children, and welcomes violence. It is a penance for our collective inaction, guilt, and failure to create a better way.
- Shane Madden – Vocals/Guitars/Bass
- Evan Madden – Drums
May 8, 2023
- Dusk Yellow
- Glad-Handing Between The Jaws
- Outlived An Enemy
- Scraps Of Mercy
- Belligerent Capitulation
- Jug Plugger
- Dead On The Parapet
- Earth To Be
- Day Ruiner
- Gargantua Dines
There is a Crossover Metal mentality to this record. “Dusk Yellow” has a Hardcore vocal style, thrash Metal guitar riffing and some Melodic Metal rhythms. A nice chugging phrase through the song drives it hard, shaping the tempo. I appreciate the diversity in the stylings, giving the music a lot of different influences that shine through and hook the listener from more than one angle.
All of the songs are shorter, averaging under three minutes, using a Punk Rock mentality to pack in more messages with faster songs, allowing them to cover more points they wish to make. Reading the band bio, you can see Drones For Queens are not big fan of war or the military-industrial complex. Nor do they like people who fail to control their vices or are just general D-Bags. In some ways, they’re just saying what many of us think.
“Scraps Of Mercy” is under two minutes but packs a massive punch. The tempo is Speed Metal, the attitude is Punk, and the end result is you want to punch the establishment in the mouth. The guitars are fast as hell, with fills between the lyric lines in places to keep you on edge and agitated. This is an effective trick. Most bands throw in leads and fill to augment the voice, but not here. The frenetic bass and rapid-fire drumming ensure no rest for the mind. There is a constant assault on the senses.
That makes me think of how we are totally inundated with news and social media shit. People talk in sound bites and quick clips they read on their last scroll through the end of humanity, I mean social media.
One thing about this album, even though each song is unique, they all use similar phrasing and tempos. “Dead on The Parapet” will sound very similar to “Belligerent Capitulation” until you listen to them a few times. The vocals are consistent throughout the whole album. The delivery has little variance, making the songs feel like they have a common theme. There are differences in how they get layered, each having different mixes.
“Day Ruiner” is one of the more distinctive tracks as far as riff pattern and rhythm goes. It is one of the few songs that opens with more subdued brutality, similar to “Dusk Yellow” and “Jug Plugger.” The rest begins with an in-your-face heaviness meant to blow you back into your seat.
From start to finish, this album feels like one big middle finger to those who need it. The Madden brothers, hailing from the city of Brotherly Love, seem to have missed the message. Instead, they vent their frustrations here, musically, working out their aggression and delivering a message of their own.
- Guitars – 9
- Rhythms – 9
- Songwriting – 8
- Production – 8
- Overall – 8.60