By Jamie McNamara
It’s hard to imagine that The Drums breakout song, the effervescent “Let’s Go Surfing,” came out seven years ago. It’s no fault of their own, but after two albums and the death of just about every trend the Jonny Pierce-led band once fell under, that first single feels like an artifact of a twee era gone by.
Hints of that bobbing, C86-influenced band pop up throughout Abysmal Thoughts, The Drums first album in three years, but they’ve been recontextualised by Pierce, who once again has found himself as the sole member of the band. The move by Pierce to take back the creative reigns pays off on a mature record filled to the brim with pop-leaning introspection.
On songs like “Mirror” and “I’ll Fight For Your Life,” Pierce sounds like a synth-toting, new wave version of The Smiths, combining Morrissey-esque melancholy with bright, summer-ready melodies that shimmer overtop restless baselines that Pierce has perfected after four albums.
Lyrically, Abysmal Thoughts is filled with a self-aware character assessments and relationship miscalculations inspired by Pierce’s decision to leave New York behind for LA. The result is a record that is at once insular and expansive, and a joy to listen to throughout.Abysmal Thoughts, Anti-, The Drums