It’s so easy to hate The Drums they may as well fire their own shots into the barrel. With good looks and a major record deal you could dismiss these Florida boys as nothing more than a construct, an affected mirage designed to give people what they want. A cynical listen to The Drums’ self-titled debut album however is one that will deny you the many gems on offer.
Away from the media powered hyperbole, what The Drums are, in essence, is a group of Anglophiles mining the back catalogue of some of the best record labels of the past thirty years. From Factory to Sarah through to Rough Trade, ‘The Drums’ is a nostalgic roller-coaster ride through the annals of indie past. The last band to do this hailed from Las Vegas, called themselves The Killers and went on to become one of the biggest bands of the past decade.
Much like Brandon Flowers et al, The Drums understand that theatricality and song-craft make for perfect bed fellows and it is lead singer Jonathan Pierce who makes this album shine, punctuating his band mates’ garage riffs with undeniable choruses delivered with a sentiment that is hard to fake. ‘Me And The Moon’, ‘Book Of Stories’ and ‘Best Friend’ all display The Drums’ knack of writing a brain residing melody, however it is ‘Forever And Ever Amen’ that is The Drums’ finest moment. In four minutes they capture a teenage lust for romance, marrying it to the soundtrack of every great John Hughes movie you’ve ever seen. It might sound like Robert Smith seducing Morrissey but it’s possibly the best pop song of 2010.
The Drums don’t wear their influences on their sleeve as much as have them tattooed across their foreheads, and the tinny guitars and production sees the album run out of steam towards its ending. However, any affectations the band have only come from spending years studying their vinyl from thousands of miles across the Atlantic. What The Drums lack in originality and authenticity they make up for with some of the purest moments of fun and summertime joy this side of the next Eighties revival.
Words by David Renshaw