“I didn’t need another push towards the edge, but you did it with a casual stance” is what Jonny Pierce, lead frontman of The Drums projects into the outside world on opening track Mirror. This is The Drums fourth studio album, with Pierce being the only original member left. But don’t let that fool you, as this could be The Drum’s most in depth and intuitive album yet. New listeners will be scrounging around for past material to see the story that is The Drums today.
With many elements from the past, Pierce describes this as one of the most personal records yet. The lyrics are executed with articulation through out the 49 minute length feature. Each song is a well thought out plan, making sure the listeners can relate back to Pierce’s story. He has been hurt, and he wants everyone to be able to relay back to how he is feeling. While a lot of The Drum’s fans may not know what to expect (old and new), Pierce has left his past behind, allowing new found members to join. Pierce has exceeded those expectations by turning his pain into something profoundly beautiful.
On I’ll Fight For Your Life, Pierce takes us through all the emotions we feel when we are unsure where a relationship is leading us to. Confusion and chaos are what he describes in the lyrics, while making it light hearted with the tambourines and new wave guitar lick in the background. “I promise you, I’ll fight for your life” is a chorus that will stick in your head days on end, seeking comfort in knowing we aren’t the only ones who desperately hold onto things that are dear to us.
Blood Under My Belt finds Pierce returning to his roots of The Drum’s first studio album The Drums. We are headed straight into the hours, with the knee clapping, shoe tapping guitar and soft drum rhythms in the background. Pierce teaches us about accountability when he wails “Yes its true, I hurt you, But, I still love you, I still do”. Through the song we are shown two perspectives into a relationship they may be falling apart. Even though someone is hurt, it still meant the world to them.
The middle of the album we come to explore Pierce’s more personal side. Pierce explained in his interview for paste magazine that Abysmal Thoughts stemmed from “An overwhelming sense that this album was going to sound dramatic”. But it is drama done right. It makes you question a lot about your stance in the world after you have lost something you truly love, and if you are going to be able to survive after losing that certain thing.
The real highlight on the whole album is the self titled track, Abysmal Thoughts. Whistles that would usually frustrate you in the back ground are used expressively and cleverly, making this song stand out by the use of the multi instruments. The cow bell is then added in to give it that 80’s vibes, taking you back in time to post punk, new wave sound of that era. You are automatically hooked with Pierce’s use of voice through out the song. Describing suffocating thoughts “Oh, abysmal thoughts pushing me down to the ground, oh beautiful thoughts where have you gone now”, we are allowed into a world of suffering and despair. We are shown how some people out there fight for the beauty in life even at the darkest of times.
Like an abyss, immeasurably deep or great is used to describe the definition of Abysmal Thoughts. Very similar to the whole album- it is a deeper take into Pierce’s world, allowing his audience to really connect with him on a deeper and greater level. If all artists could really think and use assertiveness like Pierce has on his fourth album, I do believe more music could be appreciated on the same level we could regarding this record. A connection at the end of the day is one of the most beautiful things you will experience in your life, and Pierce has shown us not to be afraid putting ourselves out there in search for more meaning in our lives.