The Drums: Portamento
The Drums’ second LP, Portamento, in contrast to their naïve debut, provides a snapshot of a band maturing. This album is heavier, darker and sadder, but manages to retain the fun at the core of the Drums’ music. Although it deals largely with themes of loss, loneliness and futility, the album somehow remains highly danceable and the highly stylised Drums’ sound persists. Their infectious toy-guitar riffs and catchy hooks remain distinctly lo-fi, large portion of the album being recorded and produced at band-members’ New York apartments.
About half way through, the homogeneity of the band’s tightly fashioned sound is at risk of making every song sound the same. But every time you get that sense, another catchy chorus comes along and makes you keep listening. The album begins particularly strongly with Book Of Revelation. The track has a deeper, darker sound that characterises the album and boasts a chorus which, in true Drums style, will stay with you whether you like it or not. The album’s first single, Money, is also a highlight, and is reminiscent of the band’s earlier, happier material. Hard To Love has possibly the most catchy chorus of the album, with front-man Jonny Pierce’s vocal aching with irresistible emotion on every refrain. While possibly not as fun as their debut, Portamento is a more mature album that fulfils the difficult task of making good, genuine pop music with real emotion.
BY PAUL GUARDIANI
Best Track: Book Of Revelation
If You Like This, You’ll Like: Album GIRLS, Pet Sounds THE BEACH BOYS, King Of The Beach WAVVES.
In A Word: Can’t decide, either Sad or Fun.