The Drums: A Transatlantic Musical Love Affair
They could be an all male sixties pop group, or they could be an English band from the seventies. They are in fact neither, they are The Drums.
Performing classic robotic dancing that would make Joy Division's Ian Curtis proud, featuring vocals reflective of Morrissey’s jumpy, yet gentle tone, and even a Shangri-Las-esque lyrical structure, The Drums are the most recent American anglophiles since The Killers.
Their latest EP, Summertime is concentrates its influence from ‘the Brits across the pond’ and sixties pop. "Lets Go Surfing," which apparently has nothing to do with surfing, presents us with quick paced clattered guitars akin to the style of The Smiths' Johnny Marr. ‘Make You Mine’ is another song rooted in 60’s pop. Cutesy Beach Boy whistling, perfectly timed hand-clapping and a ‘call and response’ pattern between Jonathan Pierce’s sensitive cry of ‘sleeping in the kiii-tchen’ and a echoic female reply result in a strange, yet endearing hybrid between black gospel and pop.
No doubt, The Drums are a revival band, meshing the likes of The Smiths and The Shangri-La’s in one pleasing melodic stew. It’s fair to say The Drums live through their influences. But their nostalgic appreciation of music been-and-gone is a bit at odds with the indie contemporaries. They're a fun listen, reflecting timeless teenage emotion, simultaneously liked by twenty-something rock ‘n’ roll hipsters, who still manage to churn out songs destined for indie dance floors.
The future looks bright for the Brooklyn band, named as one of the BBC’s Sounds of 2010, this suggests that they will receive greater attention than any other underground band this year. Despite critical acclaim, it’s fairly likely that their retro sound and niche appeal will not create quite the hype that The Libertines, Arctic Monkeys or The Strokes garnered, but the Drums are here to stay.
Like other distinctive bands who have found critical acclaim, (The XX and Animal Collective come to mind) The Drums' sound is reserved for people with a particular interest in indie music. With a full length debut out in June, it will be interesting to see if the band will cling to their nostalgia, or cave to the 21st century indie scene by creating music that fits in with the guitar driven bands of today.