Brutalism is an extension of self-care for lead singer Jonny Pierce and makes for some of his most honest and relatable music to date.
Two years after Abysmal thoughts revitalised the sound of the Drums, their fifth album Brutalism has arrived to serve as the second record written and recorded as a solo project of frontman Jonny Pierce. Brutalism finds Pierce collecting his thoughts following a divorce, managing a release that feels superficially upbeat.
However, some of the lyrics aren’t as positive as the instrumentation behind Pierce’s voice. The album feels similar to the way Foster The People’s breakout song ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ was catchy and upbeat, while lyrically being a damning statement on U.S. school shootings. Lead single ‘Body Chemistry’ is the catchiest and most immediate tune.
The submerged production of ‘626 Bedford Avenues’ allows Pierce to drawl over the music and shine. Thinking back to their debut self-titled album and their mainstream hit ‘Let’s Go Sur ng’, it’s amazing how much his vocals have blossomed. Their fan base and general exposure may have decreased, but those who have stayed loyal are handsomely rewarded on Brutalism. Experimental track ‘Loner’ is a hive of activity with buzzing guitars that feels like it shouldn’t work, but somehow ends up being a standout.
Brutalism just goes to prove pain and separation really does make great fodder for terrific music.