Under Review: The Drums – The Drums

If there’s one thing I’m sorry to have fallen into since taking on this music writing thing, it’s the constant need to categorize bands.  It seems like an innocent habit, particularly when trying to relate a band’s sound to someone who’s never heard them before.  Unfortunately, these references are more often used as crutches by those of us who can only see new music as it relates to existing music.  The real victims are not the readers who are overwhelmed by comparison after comparison, but the bands who wind up being mere items in a flowchart of context.  One band whose music should be taken on its own merits is The Drums.  The Brooklyn quintet makes bubbly music that, while it’s healthily informed by new wave and power pop, is refreshing and unique.  Their self-titled debut, which only now comes out here in the States, is jam-packed with catchy, danceable tunes that would take the music world by storm were listeners not so quick to compare them to The StrokesThe Drums is mostly made up of new songs, though “Let’s Go Surfing,” the band’s winking contribution to the recent swell of summer-ready songs, is brought from their debut EP.

The Drums proceed to explore the limits of their sound, following the exciting “Forever And Ever Amen” with the slower, harmony-soaked “Down By The Water.”  Singer/producer Jonathan Pierce’s big voice serves not only to command the often emotional songs but to invite the listener along for the fun.  Some songs on The Drums feature more overt influences than others, with ”It Will All End In Tears” featuring a spot-on Joy Division homage in its instrumentation, and the chorus hollers in “Me And The Moon” recalling The Police’s good days.  All these parts and more are crafted into an album that’s familiar without being immediately played-out.  Though comparisons to other bands might make it easier to approach an unfamiliar group, it’s best to just dive right in with these guys.  By the time the album’s over, you’ll agree that the band that The Drums most sound like is The Drums.


~ by E. on August 4, 2010.

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