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Album Review

Brooklyn surfer-pop outfit the Drums entered the music scene in a wave of hype during 2010, releasing their critically acclaimed self-titled debut release. Their sophomore record, Portamento, is a slight departure from the sunny tones of their first offering, with slightly darker, somber undertones throughout. During the writing of this album they almost split, with guitarist Adam Kessler departing; however, the experience matured the Drums and this is echoed on their assured single “Money.”

Customer Reviews

This album says 'Love' 4,512 times

I understand the bands first EP was set to bring together their happier songs, kind of an intro to the band. I get that. And now Portamento is the band experimenting with synths and heavier bass riffs, and this works for some of the album. But tracks like 'Searching For Heaven' are far too experimental for a band who were once branded Bubblegum Pop.

It is hard for a band who's first track was 'Lets Go Surfing' to get away from Surfer Band prejudice, and they have done exceedingly well in doing so. But Portamento lacks the creativity and cleverness that made Summertime such a great EP.

However, it is a mile better than there first album, which felt like they had written a couple of singles and just kind of quickly jotted a couple of other tunes down.

Singles, like Money feel unique to the band. That kind of quirkiness, heavy bass line and wailing, is pinned to The Drums, with Jonny Pierce bringing his Morrissey-esque moves and vocals to a very New Order like sound.

Its fair to say, the album should really be played backwards, that way it will simply get better and better. Otherwise you are sat, waiting for the big triumphant finale and left wondering where it went.

Peter Hook now plays in The Drums

Great album, with a darker sound.

The Smiths all over again - That's a good thing!

I can't get enough of this poppy-indie-hipster sound at the moment, and they do sound a lot like The Smiths, who I understand are one of their main influences. (Yes, Wikipedia) I hadn't heard much of The Drums before (just best friend, lets go surfing) but this is one brilliant album that will hopefully be the revival of this sound!


Formed: 2008 in New York, NY [Brooklyn]

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

An unlikely but undeniably catchy mix of Factory Records-style indie and '50s-inspired melodies, the Drums have roots that can be traced to the childhood friendship of Jonathan Pierce and Jacob Graham. After meeting at summer camp, the pair formed the electro-pop duo Goat Explosion while they were still in their teens. However, the band split and Pierce and Graham went on to other projects: Graham formed the indie pop group Horse Shoes, who released an EP on Shelflife in 2009. Meanwhile, Pierce and...
Full bio
Portamento, The Drums
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Customer Ratings