Album Review: The Drums – The Drums

By on Thursday, 24th June 2010 at 12:00 pm

The Drums are undoubtedly one of the hottest acts to spring from 2010. Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, the four piece have spent the last few months making waves with their aptly beachy sounds, dropping hit after hit onto the nation’s ears. This month finally brought about the release of the band’s self-titled debut album, but the question on everyone’s whistling lips is whether the quartet’s sugary surf managed to hold up amid the big LP?

If this album was to manifest itself into physical emotion – it would be an explosion of lovesickness, experienced on a sticky, sunny afternoon. In a way, The Drums remind me of The Ramones with their ability to make frivolous pop with guitars – yet beneath the pointy riffs and clapping drums, are clean cut lyrics fit for ‘Jacqui’ pins up ala Bay City Rollers.

Let’s name check the singles – we’ve all heard them. And they’re bloomin’ brilliant, with their spiralling licks, speedy drums and Beach Boy falsetto. From album opener – the smashing track of longing that is ‘Best Friend’, to the whistling pop scotch, ‘Wipeout’ riffs of ‘Let’s Go Surfing’, to the tumbling guitar of commitment anthem that is ‘Forever and Ever Amen’ – The Drums are maestros at making sunny slices of sounds which are made for hot afternoons when the sky is blue – and so are our hearts.

Certainly, The Drums’ music has an undoubted air of vintage to it. ‘Book of Stories’ is Pet Sounds-esque with it’s twisty surf riff and floaty harmonies of “I don’t wanna dance anymore, I don’t wanna sing anymore”. Further highlights include the sparkly, Animal Collective-stylin ‘The Future’, and the wonderfully weary psychedelic ballad ‘Down by the Water’. Compromising of thudding bass lines and echoing Smiths drums – the hazy vocals are mushy love candy – “If you fall asleep, down by the water, baby I’ll carry you all the way home”.

One clear influence on The Drums are those favourite Mancs of ours, Joy Division. ‘It Will All End in Tears’ sees The Drums giving this influence a pretty successful airing, with it’s pounding, Hooky-styling bass line, and reverb drums. The buzzing ‘Me and the Moon’ protrudes with a similarly Factory Record vibe with it’s raw, buzzing underbelly.

Regrettably, though, front man Jonathon Pierce’s sighs of woe and skippy “ooohs” do begin to run out of steam after a while. Take the intriguingly Cure-esque, ‘I Need Fun in my Life’. This is all The Drums trademark playful hooks regurgitated beyond enjoyment. Additionally, ‘Skippin’ Town’ pretty much sounds like ‘Let’s Go Surfing’ remodelled.

Not to end on a downer, though. The Drums are a bundle of fun and so is their debut album. They have themselves a formula, and they stick to it strongly. The album’s sound doesn’t waver all that much and there isn’t any spectacular twists or turns waiting to be discovered here. But it doesn’t really matter, as there is something incredibly endearing about the quartet’s super cute guitar pop – which is not completely free of sinister post-punk backbones! Indeed, The Drums certainly know how to make a tune, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say this album is completely free of fillers. But hey so what – it’s hot and it’s sunny, so go buy this album, head to the beach, stick it on and let this soundtrack your Summer – as that’s exactly what this band will be for a lot of us this 2010.

You can order The Drums’ album from Amazon for £7.99 now.

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[…] favourites of 2010, from finishing 9th in our “10 from 2010″ poll, to having one of our favourite albums of the summer, there seems no stopping this quartet.Taking things down slow for a bit, enjoy this track from […]

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