The return of The Drums after 3 years is not the return of The Drums: all the original band members have quit and just remain only Jonny Pierce.
“When Jacob left the band, I had about thirty seconds where I felt like “oh shit, now what?” and then very quickly, I started feeling almost blissful. I knew that I now had full freedom to really spill my heart out both lyrically and musically”, said Pierce in one interview. (You can check it out the full interview in this link: http://www.aheartisaspade.com/2017/06/15/a-heart-is-a-spade-interview-the-drums/ )
Is normal that the bands change some members along the years, and in this years The Drums have lost Adam Kessler, Connor Hanwick and finally, Jacob Graham. But The Drums have recruited Johnny Aries in 2012, originally as a touring member. Aries has experience, cause he have released his solo album “Unbloomed” and was the frontman of Two Wounded Birds.
But this new album, lacks of the talent of Jacob Graham on the synths, and that’s why the songs seems have no direction. Even with Johnny Aries in the bass, the instruments’ sounds seems have no cohesion, and the Pierce’s voice is not enough to make great this album.
The Drums’ past album, Encyclopedia, was more intimate than the first two albums, this new album try to be even more intimate, using ideas of the Pierce’s solo project but seems that have no direction: there are not order in the selection of the songs, there are no intentions to innovate, only to repeat the ideas of the first album with the music of the last album. Even, there are no ideas in the songs titles, the name of the songs isn’t catchy, and seems created randomly: Are U Fucked, Under The Ice, Blood Under my Belt.
The Drums is a concept, is not a personal project, is a trademark that represents some themes, some image, some ideas: in short, is not only Jonny Pierce. Maybe Pierce have confused this, and that’s why he have decided to work in all the aspects of the album, from the artwork to play all of the instruments in all the songs. That’s the reason that this could be a good Pierce’s album, but is not a good album of The Drums.
If The Drums wanna innovate, and to be the great band again, shall return to their origins: the innovation, the joy of doing music, without worry if somebody going to listen the music, use the Johnny Aries’ talent and let him do what he have done in Two Wounded Birds and in his solo album, that amazing guitar riffs, that touch of melancholy and joy at the same time, and according to the influences while Pierce was working in this last album, more The Smiths and less Björk.