Their third album, and first music for almost three years, Encyclopedia now sees The Drums reduced to just the founding duo of Jonny Pierce and Jacob Graham. Hotly tipped when they emerged five years ago, this American wore their love for the British eighties scene on their hearts.
And while they still have that love, it’s clear that they’ve become ever more aware of the darker elements of their influences. Sure there were songs like ‘Down By The Water’ on their debut which showed that it wasn’t all effervescent indie pop, but right from the way the albums slowly fades in on ‘Magic Mountain’, this is not simply a re-run of their debut and nor is it an easy place to be at times. If it’s a magic mountain, that’s magic with dark possibilities as well as good.
If their last album Portamento saw a downturn in their fortunes (was I the only one who found that cover off-putting, rather than funny?), then I hope Encyclopedia will go some way to restoring it. While it’s still not the amazing album that I would still like to think they hinted at was a possibility five years ago, it’s a sign that they shouldn’t be written off yet.