Drahla ⟡ Them Flying Monkeys

Galeria Zé dos Bois


The advance songs from “Angeltape”, the second full-length by Drahla (Leeds) due out in April, as well as the experiences they’ve been revealing over the last year and a half via Bandcamp, anticipate the next step for a band that bravely took on art-rock in “Useless Coordinates” (2019) and knew how to wait to revive themselves creatively and with the world. Drahla’s debut was in line with a sentiment present in current British rock music, a connection to post-punk via post-rock. There are many names that can be thrown at this group, but perhaps more important than the idea of influences is the sense of relevance that this sound is beginning to have.

Perhaps we should reject – in the case of Drahla, completely – the idea of a “comeback” or something that comes with the flavour of nostalgia, because “Useless Coordinates” had that important rock thing called urgency. The urgency of the current malaise, whether of a generation or of a world malaise, is increasingly evident. And if you like to proclaim that art warns, well, art has warned. In Drahla you hear less about what’s to come, more about the desynchronisation of those who live in the present without being able to see the future with euphoria. There was a path mapped out, whether it was crossing Sonic Youth with This Heat or putting Slint and James Chance together, and then there was a void caused by the pandemic. They stopped on purpose, to think, to readjust, to reflect on how urgency could manifest itself in a world at a standstill. It didn’t make sense, of course. Especially when you couldn’t run anywhere. And that’s what Drahla’s music is all about: that escape, a race with no destination. And here we are, in 2024, them with a new album, us watching the world collapse. They with urgency, we with the need to feel pulsating music that makes us act and wake up. By the time they come round, “Angeltape” will have been released, everyone will have heard it and celebrated a band that woke up and felt they had to make faster, louder, more angular songs to be heard from now on. Imagine Sonic Youth from “Bad Moon Rising” playing “Unknown Pleasures”. Well, you don’t have to imagine any more. You can listen to Drahla. AS

Them Flying Monkeys

Them Flying Monkeys is an alternative rock band from Sintra, created by five long-time friends: Diogo Sá (guitarist), Francisco Dias Pereira (keyboardist), Hugo Luzio (drummer), João Tomázio (bassist) and Luís Judícibus (guitarist and vocalist).

Their first EP, Them Flying Monkeys, was released independently in 2015 and led the band on their first national club tour, during which they won awards at the XXI Corroios Modern Music Festival, Vodafone Band Scouting, and EDP Live Bands.

On their debut LP, Golden Cap, released by Sony Music in 2017, the band revitalised their sound, moving towards the pop-rock psychedelia that had characterised much of their career.

Between 2017 and 2018, the band went on their second national tour, playing festivals such as NOS Alive, BBK Bilbao (Spain), Vodafone Mexefest, Festa do Avante! and others.

Between May and June 2019, they went on their first international tour, performing in Spain, France and Italy. On their return to Portugal, the band composed their second LP, Under the Weather, released by Montanha Records in 2020, diluting their psychedelicism between compositions that are sometimes more ornate, sometimes rockier and to the point.

The band’s third LP, due for release in April, combines their more robust and explosive side with the exploration of new electronic elements in their instrumentation.

The fruits of this work can already be heard in Next Emma Stone and Great Song, the first two singles ahead of this disc, which led the band to perform at the Sobe à Vila festival at Vodafone Paredes de Coura, and which will accompany them on their national club tour later this year.

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