The omens for The Drums are not particularly good. Dressed self-consciously like an Orange Juice tribute band, two of the band members apparently forged a friendship based on a love for The Field Mice. Add together frontman Jonny Pierce’s fey vocals and you have to wonder whether this New York oufit are for real or just another band banking on music fans’ constant thirst for nostalgia.
From the off, ‘Me And The Moon’ contains the perfect chiming melody and the tinny drums only add to the charm. Following suit, ‘Book Of Stories’, ‘We Tried’ and ‘Skippin’ Town’ are hook-filled, summery pop songs complete with plenty of echo. The light, airy feel is bolstered by neat touches such as as whistling and breathless harmonies for ‘Let’s Go Surfing’ and Peter Hook-style bass for ‘Forever And Ever Amen’. Yet although their musical references point to a boat load of 1980’s acts, ‘Down By The Water’ reaches further back in time to 1950’s soul singers for its inspiration.
As easy as it is to dismiss their image, The Drums’ songs are undeniably catchy and filled with memorable, enduring choruses and a tangible sense of doomed romance. Like Chicago’s The Changes then, The Drums have reclaimed the essence of indie pop.
New Order, The Changes