Friday, February 18, 2011

In-store: The Drums

The Drums

Soundscapes. Saturday, October 16, 2010.

Unlike some of the more expansive outings I'd seen recently, this was a traditional "taster" sort of in-store performance, a quickie for the band before shifting down the street to The Mod Club later that night for their proper gig. A fine chance for me to check out Brooklyn's much-buzzed-about The Drums. They turned out to be four fresh-faced lads, Americans paying tribute to 80's-style "indie" British guitar rock. They had a two guitars plus drums setup behind vocalist Jonathan Pierce, although one guitar player was functionally playing the same parts a bassist would have contributed. Pierce, meanwhile, sang in a slightly affectless tone, although the songs — leading off with "Best Friend" — had a tightly-packed pop feel.

Catching up with the album after the fact, it was interesting to note that while the recorded versions are straight-forward and fuss-free in their arrangements, they sounded almost baroque compared to the spartan crispness that the band brought live, stripping back the subtle layers of vocals and keyboards that are found on the album. Presented like this "Book Of Stories" had something not found on its album incarnation. This was just a quick three-song taster, but a fine introduction. The band aren't boldly forging into any new territory with what they do but they're awfully easy to listen to, so I can understand why they'd gotten people paying attention.

Listen to a track from this set here.

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