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Album Review: The Drums “Abysmal Thoughts”

It’s been seven years since The Drums debut album, but even now Abysmal Thoughts feels like the first. This is not a comment on the musicianship of songs but more so on how the labor of love and the level of effort Jonny put into this album.

Abysmal Thoughts is The Drums fourth full-length LP, highly anticipated and painstakingly put together by the band. Jonny Pierce, has been nothing but honest and vocal about the process for this album, updating fans every step of the way. The timely arrival of this album at the start of summer means these tracks will be the highlight of everybody’s playlists for the season.

While his sound contains element of surf rock with stylistically parallel guitar riffs and melody, Jonny is based in Brooklyn and carry through that tinge of classic east coast depression. This mixture is most evident in the first track of the album “Mirror.” The track functions as the beginning of a deepening theme of self-reflection, showing listeners the first glimpses of vulnerability that course through the album.

The highlights and key moments of the new album happen with “Blood Under My Belt,” a sweeping reunion between The Drums and fans headphones as the first single put out from the new LP. Opening with the a signature riff, the song contains a pop song worthy chorus, inundating the listener with it’s catchiness and overall ingenuity. If you didn’t know what you were listening to you might have mistaken it for an obscure Beach Boys song.

There is a sonic connecting thread through all these tracks most prevalent in “Head of the Horse” with old school synth lining over Pierce’s floating lyrics blended into an ode showing there is only more ups and downs of the album ahead. The structure of the choruses throughout the album feel a little similar as you drift from one track to the next — but if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, and the only thing that seems to be broken is Jonny’s heart.

“Heart Basel” is the warmest place in the album as it works it way through feelings of conflicted, unrequited love. Imagine dancing around to the art-pop beat while singing along to the yearning lyrics “Please call me and tell me that you love me.” Overall each song forms a collective narrative, telling stories of doubt, confliction and longing.

Abysmal Thoughts is out now on all the usual platforms. The Drums will be playing November 15th at Brooklyn Steel.

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