The Drums – The Drums
It would be easy to write-off the Drums as yet another throwback pop band. However, that would be too simple to do. Don’t we all want some new Smiths material? Or how about something that sounds like them, Joy Division, the Cure, and all the rest of those great 80s acts? The Drums may be the band that has come up with the best effort so far. There’s been much eightiesgazing, but so far none have been this good.
The Drums self-titled debut album stands out because these guys know their way around a pop hook. Opener ‘Best Friend’ sounds like it could have been a huge hit for the Sundays, and they performed a wonderful version of the song on Jonathan Ross just a few weeks back. In fact, BBC seems to be promoting them a fair bit, probably because they came in fifth on the BBC Sound of 2010 Poll. So far, this is far and away the best release from anyone on that poll. Yeah, I said it, screw you Ellie and Marina!
The whole thing is very head-down, arms-straight-down danceable – the kind of thing my old college housemate would have loved. He couldn’t dance to the like of Justin Timberlake or whatever the clubs are banging out these days, but he could definitely dance to this. And whistle along. Every album needs whistling. It’s featured here on the single ‘Let’s Go Surfing’, which is probably the album’s worst moment. It’s a song that tries too hard to be a hit. The Drums work much better when they’re just enjoying it.
There’s plenty to enjoy here, ‘Book of Stories’ and ‘Forever and Ever Amen’ are highpoints, particularly the former, which is a real smooth summery Cure-type track. Overall, the album is nothing amazing, it’s far from groundbreaking, but it is a lot better than all the rest of the 80s pastiches out there. If they can build on this, the follow-up should be superb.