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A shimmering mix of innocence and misery
on September 22, 2011
It's hard not to make a beeline to the Drums' self-titled debut recording, because it is a shimmering, spectacle to all the wonders of mixing innocence and misery that fueled many of our adolescent yearning and experiences. Moreover, by honing pop music that sounds like it could have been lifted from the any of the past six decades, the band covers its bases and sources well while, amazingly, sounding a bit like a "lite" version of The Cure at moments.
But this trip down memory lane also holds dangers and sometimes the music here becomes just too ingratiating and sentimental. The problem is that everything seems like a glaze, and most of the songs follow a formula: combine a brisk beat; thin, jangly guitars (lots of them); bright vocals and echo chamber harmonies; and goose it all with lots of reverb.
Oddly, the opening tracks smacks of a drum machine instead of flesh and blood drumming, and the rhythm section seems flyweight when a bit more punch would add some heft to offset the cloying does of charm.
Still, it's a fun recording for blaring on a road trip or for playing volleyball on a strip of beach somewhere.