The Drums, ‘The Drums’ Album – First Listen

Jaimie Hodgson delivers an initial teaser review of Jonathan Pierce and co’s self-titled debut album.

Album release date: June 7
Produced by: Jonathan Pierce
Album Recorded: Jacob Graham’s flat, Florida; the band’s NYC flat; a cabin, Woodstock, NY.

Best Friend
The first Drums song ever written, “The one that started it all,” Jacob Graham explained to NME. The album’s lead single and regular live opener is a vaulting cavalcade, with subject matter straight from ‘Leader Of The Pack’. “You were my best friend, and then you died… Every day I waited for you”, Jonathan Pierce sings.

Me And The Moon
An urgent spew of ’80s celluloid moods á la early Psychedelic Furs, co-written by Jonathan and Jacob. The whooping hooklines near-define the debut’s statement of intent, each refrain giving way to another rush of serotonin.

Let’s Go Surfing
After announcing it would be culled from the album, their breakthrough single is now back on the tracklist.
As Jon reasoned, omitting it would be “like going to see a band live and them missing out the song that got you into them in the first place”.

Skippin’ Town
All fluttering pace and agit drums, two-parts Orange Juice to one-part barbershop quartet. Again, it’s Jon’s woozy chorus that gleams the brightest.

Book Of Stories
A tribute to the joy of basking in sorrow, complete with panpipes peppering the wash of trebley tremolo. “I thought that my life would get easier, instead it’s getting harder”, Jon mourns with a chilly air reminiscent of their ’80s twee-pop heroes The Field Mice.

Forever And Ever, Amen
The album’s most cinematic song, it’s an avalanche of curtain-call keys and vast guitar strikes. Total drivetime fodder, no doubt. Reverberation spills into every crack of its minimal arrangement, as the epic title echoes to fade.

Down By The Water
The only other survivor from last year’s ‘“Summertime!”’ EP. A hazy lament for lost afternoons making promises to that special someone. It sounds even muggier and hornier lodged between the album tracks.

It Will All End In Tears
The backbone programmed drum parts that Jon based every song on have been left prominent here, giving an almost old-school house rhythm to this bluster of soured bubblegum-pop. Its warning to a commitment-phobe ex evokes Jacob’s beloved Sarah Records.

We Tried
One of the original recordings left over from their first 2008 Florida jam sessions. The perilous guitar lines and ominous percussion feel rather Factory Records, but nothing can falter Jon’s pin-up croon.

I Need Fun In My Life
A last-minute addition recorded on tour. It’s waif-like, bobbing along with an inertia-like hook that repeats the title over and over. While it feels like an afterthought, there’s something about its pining sentiment and whispy melody that stays rattling round your brain.

I’ll Never Drop My Sword
The only acoustic guitar on the album features here. Combined with equally uncharacteristic keyboard parp, the song is as bold, striding and defiant as its title suggests. For proof of Jon’s Morrissey worship, look no further.

The Future
The last album track to be written, and the only one recorded in a friend’s cabin in Woodstock. It’s a swoonsome deluge of subtle distortion and echo which nods to the romantic punk of their number one inspiration, The Wake.

To read the definitive review of The Drums’ debut album, look out for the issue of NME on sale Wednesday 2 June