Drummers - Drummers (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Drummers (2011)


If it weren't for Drummers culling members from acts like Sparrows Swarm and Sing (a decent post-rock group reviewed here before) and Pretty & Nice (an indie rock act who toured with some big names like Built to Spill, Q and Not U and the Get Up Kids), they'd be virtually unGoogleable. Fortunately, including some historical facts should guide you to the proper resources for both band and self-titled album in question. That's a good thing, because Drummers is a solid show of a debut.

The 10-track, 25-minute affair gives Drummers its own identity away from its members' past projects. Noisier and more jagged, it's a unique take on '90s post-hardcore with a controlled freneticism and yelped vocals, like the Drive Like Jehu-tinged finale from JR Ewing, Maelstrom.

It's nearly amazing how the band contrast a jittery angularity with sheer simplicity. Everything on Drummers sounds so stripped-down and minimal, but the band get a lot out of it. They're a three-piece after all, but they sound immensely focused, like they know exactly what they're doing. "Hearts" has a ton of space that it deliberately fills with tambourine-accompanied percussion and quietly spacey guitar pedals, as the higher-pitched bark yelps out sharply above it all. Eerier textures and vaguely twangy strums guide "Fabric I" as a curious interlude.

Here and there the band will take a detour, but it's always an enjoyable one: "Seasons" is a super fuzzy, acoustic folk track like Brian Moss recording on his laptop, while perfunctory, acoustic-and-piano closer "Home" sounds like one of Walter Schreifels' solo outings. "Islands", with its whispery vocals and momentary electronic pulse, gives off a post-punk vibe, at least in its opening 45 seconds, later cultivating an impressive build for its final 45 seconds. Granted, the buildup in the next track and the album's only to surpass four minutes, "Bridges" has an even better buildup with an emotional warmness.

This is a cool little album for sure, though it leaves Drummers plenty of room for both experimentation and improvement.