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September 8, 2011

Album Review: The Drums ‘Portamento’

by @thoughtontracks

Poppy 80’s bleeps followed up by a vocal resurgence of Morrissey’s dramatic tones, welcome to Portamento! The Brooklyn-based New Wave rejuvenators released their sophomore LP, and the result is gnarly.  The listening has been done and the hint of a second year slump is slam danced by The Drums.

Jonathan Pierce and Jacob Graham found each other after a brief hiatus in 2006 to form The Drums.  The electrophonic group Goat Explosion had ran its course. Pierce and Graham manned up other projects before reuniting the Post-punk vibe with The Drums.  Tubular reach and bright identity move by the group to continue to pull from influences such as The Smiths and Joy Division. A lot of people my age were too young for groups like this so we are all trying to absorb their catalogues as quickly as possible.  The Drums provide themselves as a seamless fit during this musical understanding.


Portamento is an awesome album in 2011 because the formula has not changed.  We all saw the polarizing rediscovery with MGMT’s Congratulations.  Casual fans hated it, dedicated fans were split, and hardcores…well remained hardcore to their vision.  If you were a fan of The Drums self-titled album, then there is no reason to battle this conflict.  The single, “Money” picks up where “Let’s Go Surfing” and “Me and the Moon” left off. Whether it is visiting the moon, riding a wave, or demanding to buy you something The Drums always have a very kind way of demanding your attention and expressing their fun.

The track “Please Don’t Leave” brings me closest to the Smiths comparison.

 Please Don’t Leave

Please Don’t Leave

Please Don’t Leave

Where Will I Go?

Where Will I Go?

Irking, bleak pleas for reconnection show doom as Pierce’s vocal chords pop, yearning for that lost one.  This formula helped build Smiths nation 30 years ago and assists with creating The Drums’ buzz. I hope that by avoiding the slump and staying true to their roots will allow The Drums to elevate to the next level in the indie hemisphere. Their close attention to their ancestors earns them this progression.

Written by Brett McGrath

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