Review of The Drums EP Summertime released through Moshi Moshi.
Although currently based in the Brooklyn area of New York, Florida conceived quartet The Drums sound as if they were reared on sun, sea and sand, not that anyone can blame them for moving to what is arguably the current most musically creative hotbed in the world. Having already received a wealth of critical attention thanks to debut single (and opening track here) 'Let's Go Surfing', The Drums realise their undoubted potential from beginning to end on this seven-song EP, which could possibly be the most accomplished set of recordings Contact has heard from a decidedly "new" band this year.
Perhaps the biggest compliment of the 'Summertime!' EP is that any one of these seven delightful pieces here could quite easily have been cited as the lead track, while back in the day when radio stations were littered with glorious 45s drenched in pop hooks aplenty, playlist schedulers would have been spoilt for choice.
Funnily enough, for a band so authentically American in that old school pre-fame Beach Boys kind of way, The Drums actually cite a host of leftfield British artists as their reasons for existence, most notably Orange Juice, New Order and obscure Factory-cum-Sarah Records artists The Wake. Certainly there are elements throughout 'Summertime!' which reference a more subtle Anglo influence, particularly the lovelorn 'Make You Mine' and galloping 'Submarine', both of which could have been recorded in the halcyon days of Postcard or the aforementioned Factory Records.
The less frenetic 'Down By The Water' meanwhile offers a similar fifties-feel lo-fi appeal to that of up-and-coming and soon to be massive Leeds outfit Spectrals, Jonathan Pierce's elegant swoon delicately augmented by the surf twang of Adam Kessler's guitar. 'Don't Be A Jerk, Johnny' meanwhile has an early Smiths vibe about it, Marr-esque guitars and ambiguous couplets ensuring homage is delivered in succinct manner right through to its suspicion-riddled title.
Yet, for all their reference points, The Drums also have a fairly unique and distinctive sound, certainly in the current climate, that makes their music so instantly recognisable from the first note.
Ultimately, as an introduction to New York's latest addition to its already wealthy collection of musical gems, the 'Summertime!' EP is a must-have in anyone's collection, whilst providing a mouth-watering appetiser to just what this band may be capable of achieving in the future.