The Drums – The Drums (Moshi Moshi) 07/06/2010

June 7, 2010 by  

Big things are expected of The Drums this year, heading the front of an American movement reviving British new wave sounds and attitudes.

Having grown up in a religious household with little access to popular music, singer Jonathan Pierce discovered The Smiths at 18 and the inspiration he took from them is clear on his bands debut album. The tight, Marr-esque guitar riffs are combined with a simple rhythm section to create the back bone of the bands sound, but what makes them stand out from the rest of the movement is the ’60s surf-pop influence that washes over the album.

Opener ?Best Friend? perhaps covers all of what the band is about; the guitar riff, the basic drumming and the yearning vocals of Pierce, which contradict the sound with his moody, miserable style, giving the songs a bit of depth. ?Book Of Stories? is Beach Boys – when Brian Wilson spent more time outside than in – and it?s a worthy homage. The reverberated vocals and dreamy synth are complimented quite wonderfully with the Cure style riff, creating the best track on the album. It also contains the best example of Pierce?s simplistic lyrics, ?I thought my life would get easier/ Instead it?s getting darker/ Instead it?s getting colder, without you?. Most of the tracks are centered around one vocal hook, which is obviously deliberate, but probably masks Pierce?s songwriting deficiencies at this early stage in his career.

The problem here is that the same formula is used for every track, the innocence of the lyrics and the familiar guitar riffs start to lose their charm over the course of the album, which tends to happen too frequently with indie-pop bands making radio-friendly 3 minute songs. However, in a world of playlists and iPods, making albums as a collective piece of work is becoming redundant, especially in this genre, and there are 3 or 4 excellent tracks here. I don?t doubt the band will be a success, but if they want sustaining credibility they are going to have to try and produce a better all-round album next time.