Albums to watch


The Drums


Second album of post punk / indie pop from the Brooklyn band now writing as a trio since guitarist Adam Kessier left in 2010

ADM rating[?]


Universal / Island
UK Release date
US Release date
  1. 9.0 |   AU Review

    A band with a definite and lovely skill, and it’s etched into every one of their perfectly-formed tunes
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  2. 8.0 |   The Skinny

    Few other modern outfits can create pop music so haunting and distinctive with such basic and familiar tools
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  3. 8.0 |   Slant Magazine

    The Drums are far too clever a band to suffer a sophomore slump, but Portamento does one better, dispelling any notion that they're merely the flavor of the month
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  4. 8.0 |   Uncut

    They only really have one kind of song and tempo, rollicking yet melancholy, but they write them very, very well. Print edition only

  5. 7.4 |   Pitchfork

    Sounds and feels like a smaller, more intimate album than last year's self-titled predecessor
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  6. 7.0 |   PopMatters

    Portamento will charm you, hug you, haunt you and yes, sometimes baffle you
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  7. 7.0 |   Rave Magazine

    Once you are saturated in the album and you become familiar with its nuances, the diversity becomes refreshing
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  8. 7.0 |   NME

    It’s best to look at ‘Portamento’ as a marker of the potential brilliance that album three could bring
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  9. 7.0 |   God Is In The TV

    It’s not the seminal album The Drums could be capable of making but things seem to be on the right track
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  10. 7.0 |   Consequence Of Sound

    So, what’s the issue here? Outside of a few iconic moments – for the band, not in the history of rock ‘n’ roll, people – there’s far too much of the same zipper-lined guitar work and push-play percussion
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  11. 7.0 |

    The Drums rarely stray too far outside of their comfort zone, but that's not particularly a bad thing
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  12. 6.9 |   Beats Per Minute

    While it displays a more mature and focused sound for The Drums, the album eventually crumbles beneath the weight of its influential stilts
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  13. 6.0 |   State

    At succeeds spectacularly where The Drums debut didn’t
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  14. 6.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    Here we have a band who in a short amount of time since arriving into the music industry’s conscious are already trying to grow
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  15. 6.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    Leaves little to the imagination in terms of diversity or variety except to say that many of the songs here sound like a continuation of what came before on The Drums, only marginally inferior
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  16. 6.0 |   BBC

    An even more stripped-out sound, even when electronics are sometimes thrown into the mix
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  17. 6.0 |   Clash

    Much of what was great with their debut is merely repeated here
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  18. 6.0 |   Q

    Their debut might have triggered suspicion, but with Portamento. you don't want to take your eyes off The Drums for all the right reasons. Print edition only

  19. 6.0 |   The Skinny

    On the surface, Portamento is a collection of summery tracks and it appears to be more complex and darker than its debut. But dig a little deeper and there isn't much there
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  20. 6.0 |   Evening Standard

    It's all a bit too one-paced, apart from the moody electronics of Searching for Heaven
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  21. 5.5 |   Bowlegs

    We had expected a few more chances to be taken and a little more progress to have been made – but they haven’t and there isn’t – which is a bit of a shame
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  22. 5.0 |   The Quietus

    That stripped-down sound feels more like emptiness
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  23. 5.0 |   A.V. Club

    If this is what happens when The Drums gets personal, maybe it should go back to working the crowds
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  24. 4.0 |   The Observer

    Each lovelorn and drear ditty seems to blend into the next
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  25. 4.0 |   Mojo

    Even in indie-synth-retro-post-punk-pop, you gotta have soul. Print edition only

  26. 4.0 |   The Independent

    An album promising far more than it delivers
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  27. 4.0 |   The Guardian

    Like last year's debut, this employs repetition and deliberate naivety, but it's starting to sound disingenuous
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  28. 4.0 |   No Ripcord

    Download the first few songs and shelf it and its appallingly bad album art
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  29. 3.3 |   Pretty Much Amazing

    There actually isn’t a single terrible song on Portamento. Yet, the accumulated momentum of one critically botched song after another makes the whole seem so much worse than its parts
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The Drums: Portamento

  • Download full album for just £9.49
  • 1. Book Of Revelation £0.99
  • 2. Days £0.99
  • 3. What You Were £0.99
  • 4. Money £0.99
  • 5. Hard To Love £0.99
  • 6. I Don't Know How To Love £0.99
  • 7. Searching For Heaven £0.99
  • 8. Please Don't Leave £0.99
  • 9. If He Likes It Let Him Do It £0.99
  • 10. I Need A Doctor £0.99
  • 11. In The Cold £0.99
  • 12. How It Ended £0.99
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