The Supervillains are back with a brand spanking new, six-track banger of an EP titled Drones. Hailing from Central Florida, the swamp reggae/ska punk rockers hinted at this release a few months ago, and they recently dropped a stand-alone single titled “Daisy” in anticipation of the EP. Best enjoyed from start to finish, the band also included a unique variation of their latest single into the EP.
Originally started in the late ’90s by longtime buddies Dom (drums/vocals) and Skart (guitar/vocals), the band have evolved over the last 20-plus years. With a few lineup changes and multiple albums under their belt, The Supervillains have become a well-known name in the alternative reggae and ska punk scene. The band decided to stay independent for this release and put out the EP through their own label, Rah Rah Rah Records. With their former bass player Dan Grundorf taking lead on recording and mixing, they set up shop at Skart’s barn in Boddy Creek, FL to get to work.
Recorded all in house (well in this case, in barn), Drones is a direct follow-up to the band’s 2012 EP, Robots. We had a chance to ask the band for a brief description of each track, to which they answered below:
“Goodnight Alright” – Inspired by the mysterious Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, the last transmission from the flight’s Captain was recorded by Indonesian Air Traffic Control. After being told that the plane had entered Indonesian airspace, the pilot responded “Goodnight, Alright,” then turned off the plane’s transponder, changed course, and 300 people were never heard from again. Just as Lord of the Flies begins with a plane crash, our story begins here.
“Day Z”- The first verse is taken directly from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. As Dave the Astronaut begins unplugging the ship’s rogue operating system “HAL” who has been programmed to murder the flight crew, the computer’s system reboots to its original factory settings, concluding with a singing of the Vaudeville-era song “Daisy” as it slips into unconsciousness. In the 1950s, “Daisy” was the first song chosen by scientists to ever be “sung” by a computer.
“Channel Markers”– “Channel Markers” is about staying focused and coloring in between the lines, trusting your instincts and asking for guidance during even the most tumultuous times. Following the path that’s clearly marked so your ship doesn’t end up sinking. Following the rules in place, so you don’t sink anyone else’s ship.
Alien Surveillance”- A song about misinformation and its destructive results. An outside viewpoint from the eyes of the aliens who keep their tabs on us, stating basically that we’re not worth their time. If we can’t truthfully keep ourselves in line, where’s the glory of revealing themselves to us. Maybe our species is not quite there yet. The song ends with an army cadence that is briefly sung by the marooned boys in the Lord of the Flies and features soundbites from the movie itself.
“Pyrocummulus”- The scientific name for a tornado made of fire, “Pyrocummulus” opens with lines from Roald Dahl’s poem, “The Rower’s Song,” featured in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Inspired recently by the January 6 Insurrection on our Capitol, it focuses on mob mentality and the moral boundaries that get pushed to the brink in the process. Keeping in line with the Lord of the Flies timeline, it’s when the tribe of lost boys set fire to the entire island in an effort to flush out the main character, Ralph, so they can kill him. Their actions ultimately lead to their rescue, ironically, forcing them to look in the mirror and see what they’ve allowed themselves to become … savages.
“Vultures”- The final chapter of Drones, “Vultures” is a reflective look at death. Being in a situation knowing that impending doom is on the horizon, and your own demise is near. There’s a lot of things to think about, and the protagonist contemplates his final thoughts as the growing fire encircles their final resting place: How did this happen? Who do I love? Where will I go? Was it a good life? What was the meaning? Soon, we will find out.
When it comes to digging in for the actual review of the album, I have to say that I’m just overall impressed. From ripping guitar work to hypnotic harmonies, the band keeps each track fresh. From the danceable bass lines to the almost sexual saxophone work, you’re left incapable of not moving around while jamming it. Another thing to point out is the wide array of instruments we hear on this thing. Did I hear a xylophone at one point?
When a band has been a national name for as long as these guys have, there can be cause for concern that each release will start to sound the same. We really have to credit The Supervillains here by keeping things fresh and creative. Do I wish certain songs got heavier? Sure. Do I want to hear more of the punk rock side of the band? Sure. But this is an EP. This is a beautifully crafted set of six songs that will brighten your day and undoubtedly make it to your personal playlists.
To sum up, and you’ve been warned, these are six catchy tracks that are tough to take off repeat. When asked to explain the EP in one sentence, dummer/singer Dom had this to say: “The Drones EP is like a 25-minute-long movie for your ears. Meant to be listened to in its entirety, you’ll laugh; you’ll cry, and you’ll wanna listen to it again.“
Well, there you have it. You can listen to Drones on your favorite streaming service here.
If you’re in Florida, you’ll have three chances left to catch the band this year. Check those dates below
11/26 – EP Release Party at Jannus Live in St. Pete, FL with Kash’d Out
12/10 – Ace Cafe in Orlando, FL with Dial Drive
12/31 – West End in Sanford, FL with The Problemaddictsfl