The Drums Are a Band to Keep Your Eye On

January 14th, 2010

The Drums – The Bowery Ballroom – January 13, 2010

The Drums - The Bowery Ballroom - January 13, 2010
As some bands cemented their reputation with favorable reviews toward the end of 2009, others began to blossom in the New Year. One of those in the latter category is the Drums, a Brooklyn-based band (by way of Florida). Following their debut EP, Summetime!, the Drums have steadily generated buzz for their wonderfully catchy pop songs and energetic performances. Their plaudits even reach across the Atlantic with the BBC Sound of 2010 naming the group one of the 15 best rising music acts. With a recently recorded LP scheduled for release in the spring, the group is taking to the road. A lot.

Last night a capacity crowd greeted the Drums—and opening acts the Depreciation Guild and Surfer Blood—for their first show at The Bowery Ballroom. The Depreciation Guild transfixed the audience with their combination of fuzzed-out, shoegazing riffs and 8-bit sound accompaniment. Their live show is a fantastic visual and auditory experience, which I highly recommend. Surfer Blood, another group of Florida natives, followed with a solid set of classic-rock-inspired originals. While their stage presence needs some work, the breezy “Take It Easy” showed the band’s potential when they do just that.

Intermittent shouts sprung from the crowd as the Drums set up in darkness. “I love you, Jon,” yelled a number of women throughout the show. When the band took to the stage, it was easy to figure out the source of adoration. Jonathan Pierce, the frontman and vocalist, conducts himself like a budding rock star. His theatric prancing and confident swagger complement the other members’ stoicism (with the exception of guitarist Jacob Graham’s spastic tambourine playing on “Best Friend”). It is said that the Drums are this year’s the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, so it was fitting when the Pains’ Peggy Wang-East accompanied Pierce on “Don’t Be a Jerk, Johnny.” This show should go a long way toward proving the Drums as one of the most promising bands of 2010. —Jared Levy

Photos courtesy of Jen Macchiarelli |