THE DRUMS The Drums (Island/Downtown)
John Hughes’ Pretty in Pink is a film whose New Wave-heavy soundtrack expertly reproduced the jingle-jangle morning of 1986. This album by The Drums is a worthy sequel. With a blissed-out beach vibe, this band crunches through 12 tracks that sound like a collision between the angular punk of Joy Division and the surfer anthems of Dick Dale. There’s even a brilliant bit of beach pop called “Let’s Go Surfing.” Giddy, whimsical, and surprisingly unself-conscious for a group so skilled in channeling its ’ 80s influences, this band has been the toast of music blogs for months now. The Drums’ anthem-loaded, hook-heavy rock perfectly captures the coastal obsession that indie rock is currently undergoing. What’s striking about this album is how well it balances cinematic stage-closers like “Forever and Ever Amen,” with one-off, intimate ditties such as “I Need Fun in My Life” and “I’ll Never Drop My Sword” that are certainly bound to show up this fall on young romantics’ mix tapes. Currently on tour with the equally beach-crazed Florida band Surfer Blood, The Drums may be the band that finally breaks this “down by the bay” hook-heavy genre out of the insular world of music magazines.
— Casey Sanchez