Music: The Drums by The Drums ***
Published 04/06/2010 | 05:00
Yet another hotly tipped band to emerge from Brooklyn -- although they claim not to be part of the borough's much-spoken-of scene -- The Drums know how to make a racket. They chose an interview with this magazine to roundly condemn U2, and even more controversially, to espouse a love for The Cranberries.
Unlike such championed Brooklynites as Yeasayer or Crystal Stilts, there's nothing remotely esoteric about the Jonathan Pierce-led four-piece.
Instead, their sound is a commercial distillation of such influences as the classic West Coast pop and the shoegaze craze of the late 80s. There are places on this debut album where you will be reminded of The Police in their pomp and, whisper it, early U2.
This is not challenging rock, just spot-the-connection rock and over the course of an entire album there are enough high points to suggest this band may be capable of doing the sort of business MGMT managed with their first album.
"Melody, sincerity and truthfulness" is the band's statement of intent, and they certainly have no trouble with the first part of that motto. There are more melodies here than most bands manage in a lifetime, and those melodic gifts are best appreciated on the insidiously catchy Book of Sorrows.
But as with much of the shiny, happy material there's a sting in the tail, as Pierce notes: "I thought my life would get easier/ Instead it's getting harder."
Pierce's vocal style is likely to divide opinion -- one man's expressive singing is another man's overly fey put-on and even fans of the band are likely to struggle with his enunciation on the power pop rush of I Need More Fun in my Life.
Unlike many of the Brooklyn bands The Drums like to slag off -- stand up Dirty Projectors -- there is a notable absence of innovation in this debut.
Worse, several of the latter songs sound like they were dashed off without much consideration.
Burn it: Book of Sorrows; It Will All End in Tears