The Drums – Abysmal Thoughts Album Review

Like meeting an old friend


 June 16, 2017


After a 3 years holiday The Drums are back, or at least a part of them is.

Left the half failed experiment of 2014 “Encyclopedia” behind, guitarist Jacob Graham dissolved the couple abandoning the band and Jonny Pierce, left alone, appears to play it safe this time, doing what he does best. The formula he uses in most of the tracks of the new LP “Abysmal thoughts” is the same, simple and structured all over the record, leaving little space to experimentation. Bass and guitar bounce on the base in clearly distinct layers, drums urge with continuous pace, soft synths enrich the whole thing and mister Pierce can indulge himself with whimsical and melancholic choruses. The singer from Brooklyn brings back the core of one of the bands that most purely embodied the indie feeling of the beginning of the decade; a project that merges the lust for dance of The Smiths with The Beach Boys’ summer carelessness into refrains about unrequited teen love. The result are oddly compelling irresistible tunes that come back to your head when least expected, not to leave for hours.

Make no mistake, we have no “ The Queen is Dead” or “ Pet Sounds” here, and barely a respectable follow up to the works of the first 10s. The first half of the album in fact, with tracks such as “Mirror”, “Under The Ice” and the single “Blood Under My Belt”, bring us right where we were with “Portamento” back in 2011.

It’s a warm afternoon, we’re in the car, windows down and some friend from high school, talking about how to conquer our adolescent crush before school begins. Then we realize it’s getting late, sounds wane, tunes wither. The weary trumpets of “Are U Fucked” and “Your Tenderness” lead us through the evening, painting a dim sunset in the darkest part of the album. Light is fading, we see the last sunshine with “Rich Kids” and find ourselves on the seashore, saying farewell to another day of summer that sets with the arpeggio of  If All We Share (Means Nothing)”.

Oh abysmal thoughts (…) Take me away from this dark place”. Night has come and the title track marks the end of the holidays with the same fake levity the band accostumed us. It’s like when you meet a friend you haven’t seen in a long time and you go through all the amazing moments you spent together. Then you realize it’s 2017 and you cannot live those things anymore. This is what remains of this last meeting with The Drums, but it’s been good to see you again guys.

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