Revitalized new wavers The Drums wrapped up a successful tour last week with three sold-out shows in their hometown at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn, showing the assembled crowds they still dazzle on stage.
The shows closed out extensive performances in support of the band’s third album, Encyclopedia, released in September 2014. The album finds The Drums as only a duo — founding creative forces in vocalist Jonny Pierce and keyboardist Jacob Graham — but as exciting and fresh as ever.
After a three-year break, Jonny and Jacob demonstrated their continued appeal with singles like “I Can’t Pretend,” a popular selection during their recent shows, which also included a stop at DC9 on Monday, Oct. 26.
The song is a terrific combination of elements that make The Drums so great — Jonny’s soothing voice, a synth backbone set down by Jacob, and resonant surf guitars added by the touring band. Interestingly, that surf rock sound often tends to be one of the most distinctive trademarks of a song by The Drums. To my ears, The Drums otherwise owe tremendous debts to two of their influences: The Smiths and New Order.