Let’s Go Surfing with The Drums

The Drums are an exciting upcoming Brooklyn band with a few London dates coming up in October.  Their songs are summery, sugar-candied and deceptively addictive – so much so that NME has declared them “New York’s coolest new band”.  But do they live up to hype?

A slice of retro heaven, Let’s Go Surfing pays tribute to the cabriolet, sun-dazed feel of  American surf-rock.  The ceaseless rapid-fire guitar beat, the happy whistling and the fun and frivolous lyrics – mainly concerned with sucking lemons – all remind of yesteryear, when songs were minimal and magnificent .  The entire texture is a bit weird and wonderful, too, bringing to mind the Stranglers – especially when what sounds like an unhappy cat starts mewing in the background. 

drums

Meanwhile, Don’t Be A Jerk, Jonny tells a schmaltzy teenage love story in a puffily perfect-pop format.  As Jonny defends his cruelty by exclaiming “it’s out of love”, so Jenny counters in time “no it’s not”; a soap opera on record.  There’s a catchy chorus and warm feel, and normally I’d hate this… but somehow this particular pop tart has a little extra, and feels ironically kitsch.  The lone, incessant and impossibly bubbly guitar hook; the pleasingly cruel lyrics (“you used to be a pretty / but now you’re so tragic / believe in something / you’re just full of  horseshit”); the finger clicks…

Other songs follow a similarly simple-but-superb formula: I Felt Stupid is frothy punk pop with a cute keyboard mid-section.  Down By The Water is a starker, lighter-waving love-song based around thudding, syrupy bass feedback and ghostly electronics. And so it diversely goes… The band cite The Presidents of the USA, The Smiths and The Shangri-La’s among their influences, and there are dim echoes of each spread across their catalogue.

Live dates:
Mon 19 October – Flowerpot, Kentish Town
Fri 23 October – Koko, Mornington Crescent
Tues 27 October – Barfly, Chalk Farm (tickets here)

The Drums on MySpace
The Drums’ website

MP3: The Drums – Let’s Go Surfing (zSHARE)
MP3: The Drums – Don’t Be A Jerk, Jonny (zSHARE)
Pre-order The Drums’ album Summertime here

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~ by ripamel on 06/09/2009.

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