Island Records If the Drums have a problem, they'll let you know. "I feel…
- Posted on Jul 21st 2010 10:00AM by Alex Suskind
Harry Herd, Redferns
"You've already heard this song [tonight]," said lead singer Jonathan Pierce. "But we are going to play it at twice the tempo. So dance."
On that note, the four-piece rock group from New York ripped into a high-speed version of 'Best Friend,' the band's opening track from their self-titled debut album. The fact that the crowd had heard it less than an hour beforehand did not dampen their spirits as they jumped around and sang along to the upbeat pop song.
Streamed live as part of MTV's new 'Live in New York City' series, the show was a homecoming for the group. After spending the last few months touring in Europe, they are taking a break back in the States before they return overseas for the latter half of their tour. Nevertheless, the Drums treated the MTV special just like any other show, playing an animated and energetic hour-long set of songs from their debut album, 'The Drums' and 2009 EP, 'Summertime!'
Having formed only a year ago, the band has already developed a big following -- they won an NME Award back in February, more than three months before releasing their first album. It's a pretty impressive feat for a group that couldn't even play the guitar before they started (they actually taught themselves the guitar while recording the record, which is why the album is filled with one-note riffs and no chords). But that lack of experience didn't show, as the Drums looked like veterans up onstage, with Pierce dancing and twirling around, belting out lyrics like they were part of an elaborate Shakespearean monologue.
The group, in their short haircuts and plaid shirts, began the evening with 'It Will All End in Tears,' a song that follows a similar pattern to most of their tracks: a short, succinct and catchy pop song. The mixture of the Drums' '50s-styled surf melodies, along with Pierce's onstage antics, kept the crowd entertained the entire evening. It seemed like the Drums' lead singer had a new move for each song. In 'Submarine,' he bounced around the stage wielding the microphone like a light saber. In 'Don't Be a Jerk, Johnny,' Pierce looked like he was ready to rumble 'West Side Story'-style, slightly crouching and snapping his fingers along to the beat. Even guitarist Jacob Graham got into the act, jumping around the stage and swinging a tambourine to the tune of 'Best Friend' (the first version, not the encore version).
But no matter what moves Pierce or his bandmates bust out onstage, the core of this group goes back to writing and performing catchy pop songs, and the Drums are happy to share them with anyone who's ready to listen. "This is a night of pop music, with love from the Drums, to New York City and the world," said Pierce before the band performed their final song of the night.
The Drums are on tour through the rest of the summer, playing New Zealand, Australia, Asia and Europe.