Drummers - Drummers
Record Label: Self-released
Release Date: January 3, 2011
With such a strong aural associative name like Drummers, it's a name that better be lived up to. In social circles, you'd only communicate in tonal ticks, and engaging in verbose conversations would be too...well, verbose. Each band member would be a drummer skilled in his or her own unique way, taking extra care to not let one's drums drown out others' come production time.
Well, alright, only part of this holds true for the Boston-bred post-hardcore trio consisting of Bobby, Brian and Jeremy (who handle keys/vocal, drum, and guitar duties, respectively). But I'll continue to defend that they speak in a dialect based exclusively of clicks.
Drummers could easily be mistaken for B-sides of At The Drive In's In Casino Out or perhaps some undiscovered demos collecting dust in a Texas basement. In light of this comparison, Drummers is a percussive cocktail served with a tangy slice of Cedric Bixler-Zavala the way he'd prefer himself: shaken, not stirred. What you're getting in production lies on the barer side of the tracks, which was perhaps done to give the album its raw costume.
After a 30 second string of interference, we arrive at the track "Planes II".It’s defined by eerie, bemoaning wails that the guitar and keyboard perfect in trance behind a choppy rhythm, one that eventually fades out to make lingering room for the other sounds. Christmas-like sleigh bells introduce the track “Hearts”, ringing out amidst a continuous signal of white noise. This pervasive white noise is a recurrent theme in Drummers, even within the softer tracks. But it's kind of like the pesky younger brother that won't stop tapping your shoulder, and you're not quite sure what the motive behind it is. “Seasons” takes an acoustic breather from the chaotic storm as the album's campfire track, allowing us that introspective mental space we sometimes need. Nonetheless, a bold interruption to our relaxation time is always inevitable, and vocalist Bobby Landry proclaims “sell my car to buy some food/light a fire in our stomachs and in our eyes” as a sharp and vivid reminder that there are unplanned realities we fare in life. Lyrically, the sweeping majority of songs swim around in hollow metaphors, making me wish the album came with a decoder booklet.
Let's go back to drum talk, though, because it's kind of unavoidable here. The drum parts in Drummers seem to be the sole force of intensity; standing out in loudness, in cute creative stunts and in their capability to trade aggression for suppression when needed. If the album was a sinking ship, the drums would probably serve as a lifeguard. This technique of shining the spotlight on a particular instrument does work, and would possibly be expected from a band of native drummers. An album can't rely on that aspect alone, though. On Drummers, every song enjoys the taste of a similar scale of notes, which forces it into one tedious, drawn out song without having any major distinguishable moments -– save for the few mellowed out numbers in the mix. That said, the band's full length debut isn't a crash and burn by any stretch of the imagination, and on the contrary, it dabbles in a fresh experimental sound that thrives on minimalist forays. But the band itself still leaves more to be desired, leaves more steam needed to be blown off, and more inventive outlets for us to be blown away by.