Artist: The Drums
Title: “Magic Mountain
Release Date: July 15, 2015
Label: Minor Records

The Drums’ newest offering “Magic Mountain” sees the indie rock vets treading familiar territory, with their signature reverb-soaked guitars and jaunty rhythms taking center stage.

The band’s first release since 2011’s Portamento shows off a darkly satisfying single-note progression determined to avoid summery pop clichés. The descending riff feels more fitted to late October than July, for better or worse. The often discordant and wailing vocal hook makes me feel like I might want to keep away from this magic mountain… there could be some creepy stuff going on. The song stops to take a breath at the 2:18 mark where many a terse punk song has ended, only to return abruptly with a driving bridge section that could have served as this song’s hook in an alternate universe; more instantly gratifying than the shrill chorus. The production feels bigger and more experimental than in past offerings. Ambient noise initially sends the track on its strange path and fills out instrumental breaks in a tasteful, surprising way. Niche bands like The Drums do well to mix things up, and “Magic Mountain” is an encouraging sign heading into the release of their upcoming Encyclopedia record that promises to delve into stranger waters.

By: Dennis Moon