By Patrick Campbell
Released Friday September 26th - Minor Records
Brooklyn duo The Drums have returned with their third albumEncyclopedia, a fast paced, experimental body of indie pop/rock. After a successful tour in support of their sophomore album Portamento, this album comes as surprisingly lack luster, and almost boring. A disappointing effort from the group who had found their niche with their first two albums.
Opening with Magic Mountain, the track starts off the album at a roaring pace and with the idea that maybe the album will contain a lot of these heavier tracks that have been lacking on their earlier albums. This however is not the case, with the next few tracks all being equally slow and sad, I Can't Pretend reminds me of the sad American proms in films, and is genuinely boring. The album continues with songs in similar style, heavy layered synths and the occasional racing chorus with fast drums. Overall the tracks are just much of the same, it's like an attempt at a love song reworked thirteen times over.
Lyrically, the songs are hard to decipher underneath the heavy effects and very low vocal mixing. This could be a good thing though, as most of the lyrics that are audible are tacky and cliché. The album isn't terrible by any means, it's just not on the level of the group's other work.
Face of God is the highlight of the album; catchy, fast paced and not boring at all. This track comes at you and gives the record a new breath of life with the dark lyrics and extraterrestrial backing track. The only other song that truly stands out from the record is Bell Laboratories; completely unlike any of the other tracks, the song is mainly instrumental and creates a sonic atmosphere that is worlds away from any of the surrounding tracks.
The albums ending track Wild Geese is nothing special, in fact it could be the most boring track of the whole album, it's too slow and it doesn't get mildly exciting until the last 45 seconds, which really isn't ideal when you have four and a half minutes before you get to that.
Disappointing is the easiest way to sum this album up. It has good parts, and a lot of not so good parts which really make you consider if it's worth listening to it entirely again. It's not a bad album, but if you want to listen to The Drums, you'd have a better time listening to their self-titled debut, or Portamento.
2.5 / 5