‘Drone Etiquette’ is the latest slice of power pop perfection from the Minnesota band The Persian Leaps, although the collective word “band” may be stretching it for this particular release, with all work being done this time by singer/guitarist Drew Forsberg alone.

I stumbled across this band by accident while searching for music to listen to in the throes of the pandemic. Their song ‘Lost Cause’ (from the album Smiling Lessons) appeared on a playlist in which my own band were also featured. There were really only two decent songs on it – ours and theirs. Actually, theirs wasn’t just decent, it was excellent, and I was instantly hooked. So, I emailed him and told him so.

For ‘Drone Etiquette’, what would usually be a collaborative effort has turned out to be a solitary development, for reasons outside of anyone’s control – it is actually written as a by-product to the last two restrictive, pandemic years. The songs are not about it exactly, but the one-man band nature of it reflects the frustration many of us have felt.

It’s certainly no less of a record for it, and as with the previous album, it’s a fine collection of sugary riffs and honey-soaked harmonies. As catchy as ever, this short album is undeniable power pop glory, delivered with a decisive punch. And it is frustration that has formed the basis of the record, which is no better expressed than in the opening song and single ‘When This Gets Out’. Here is a story about the horror of watching the now ex-president and ultra-capitalist Donald Trump get away with scandal after scandal, and hoping that surely the next one will be big enough to bring him down. Is there no scandal big enough these days?

Frustration and hopelessness are themes explored throughout, always accompanied by bright and sharp guitars and rhythms, culminating in the somewhat sarcastic ‘Keep Smiling’. The Soviet-style, propaganda-themed artwork is perhaps the perfect visual accompaniment to a record lamenting the factory line of enablers that will inevitably lead us all to a sorry end. So with that thought, go and listen to the new album ‘Drone Etiquette’, and just keep smiling.

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Author: Craggy Collyde