The Drums: bang on the mark

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Opinion -

It’s about to be­come a lit­tle fren­zied for child­hood friends Jonathan Pierce and Ja­cob Gra­ham. The duo are The Drums, a band so new that they’ve still got the plas­tic wrap­ping on, but who have wowed every­one who has set eyes and ears on them since their first show in May.

Surf-pop va­grants and beach-bum dream­ers with a fine taste in retro, post-punk sounds, they cite some un­der-ap­pre­ci­ated re­leases on the late, great Tony Wil­son’s Fac­tory la­bel, as well as 1950s and 1960s pop-cul­ture, as in­flu­ences.

The wow­ing for those of us who haven’t seen them yet can be­gin with their de­but EP. Sum­mer­time! has in­fec­tious tunes burst­ing with sunny joie de vivre, ev­ery cut a-jan­gle with euphoric, giddy pop spirit and some­what more melan­cholic, broody moods.

Catch­ing both the ex­pec­ta­tion be­fore and the come­down af­ter a great day at the beach, each tune is as smart and dap­per as you’d ex­pect from two clean-cut min­i­mal­ists chan­nelling vin­tage US teen style. Think of them, then, as your favourite Mad Men he­roes get­ting their teenage kicks be­fore Madi­son Av­enue came call­ing.

Hail­ing from Florida, Pierce and Gra­ham first met as kids at a Chris­tian sum­mer camp in Penn­syl­va­nia. Both pur­sued in­di­vid­ual mu­si­cal no­tions un­til it made per­fect sense to join forces.

When they started, their aim was to em­u­late Scot­tish post-punk band The Wake. “We heard their song Pale Spec­tre and went crazy,” says Pierce. “Maybe our mu­sic didn’t turn out sound­ing too much like The Wake, but we’re re­ally just like ev­ery­body else, chas­ing that per­fect pop song.”

No doubt that chase will con­tinue well into 2010. The band’s de­but al­bum is due for release early next year and, if the cur­rent EP is any in­di­ca­tion, ex­pect it to be on the re­ceiv­ing end of a lot of love.

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