ALBUM REVIEW: The Drums - The Drums

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At first, The Drums’ self-titled debut album seems like a tree in a forest full of ‘em – the sunny pop hooks, reverberant melodies, and beach friendly jams that have emerged as indie rock themes in 2010 are all present and accounted for here. Things aren’t always as they seem, though. The Drums, despite seeming British, are actually Brooklynites. The drums, despite sounding like drum machines, are actually played by The Drums. The Drums’ lyrics, despite seeming buoyant, are actually quite heavy - “It will all end in tears” and “I cannot take any more” and “I gave you everything, why do you hate me so?”

Buried in the folds of these contradictions are the reasons to keep coming back to these songs, this band, this album. Prominently, there’s the adolescent surf jam “Let’s Go Surfing,” with its unconcerned chorus of “Oh mama, I wanna go surfing, oh mama, I don’t care about nothing.” But underneath that pop gem, The Drums has the wistful and thoughtful anthems about lost friendships that are missing from the let’s get stoned and pretend we’re at the beach albums that have dominated this summer’s discourse. There's more substance here than a quick listen would intimate.

In a recent interview, The Drums’ guitarist Jacob Graham cited reverb as an influence on the band’s sound, saying “I feel like if reverb didn’t exist we wouldn’t have bothered trying to start a band.” It sounds like a cop out – a bunch of talentless dudes shrouding their inadequacies in sonic obscurity – but it’s not. Underneath all of that echo, these guys can write and play, and The Drums has the songs to prove it.

77 — [Rating Scale]

Download: The Drums - "Down By The Water"
Download: The Drums - "It Will End In Tears"
Watch: The Drums - "Forever and Amen" Music Video