The Drums – ‘Portamento’ Review

It’s no wonder why The Drums had so much hype over here in the UK; they sound like a mash up between The Beach Boys and The Smiths, yet when their debut album dropped the songs were too simple and annoyingly repetitive. Nothing has changed on this second album they merely continue the same sound but with a dark undertow, there is nothing wrong with this sound in particular but as an album it becomes irritating. Whilst the album title is clearly a reference to losing a member (for those who aren’t sure it means a smooth transition from one tone to another), but you can’t help feeling it is inaccurately named, as this album doesn’t bring about change, it sees a band stuck on repetition. This may pacify Drums fans, but it won’t gain any major new followers.

Key Songs: Book of Revelation, Money

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North vs South

In England there is a divide between the North (northern monkeys) and the South (southern fairies), so I thought I would evaluate this in terms of who has provided the biggest game changers in English music. Despite being a northerner I promise I will do my best not be prejudice.

I will start with the 1960’s, this one shall be easy. The South may have given us successful bands such as The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Who but let’s face it the North brought The Beatles. I think that is a point to the North.

Now the 1970’s the South produced bands such as David Bowie, The Clash and Led Zeppelin whilst the North gave rise to bands such as Joy Division and… Well I suppose that is a point to the South then.

But all that is about change as from the 1980’s the North upped its game with bands such as: The Smiths, New Order, Echo & The Bunnymen and The Fall. While the south gave us: The Cure, Kate Bush and The Police. However, the point has to go to the North, but it was a tight match; who said the 1980’s was poor for music; well it was a little moany and depressing but Thatcher was PM.

In the 1990’s the North produced some excellent standard of music including: James, Happy Mondays, Oasis, The Stone Roses and Pulp. While the south produced some very impressive music from the likes of The Prodigy, Radiohead, Suede, Supergrass and Blur. This is too tight to call and so I am going to have to give a point to each side. In all seriousness I do think the 1990’s was the best decade for music (yes better than the 1960’s) there is much more experimenting and variation within the music that crossed boundaries; and the lyrics really spoke to the youth.

So this is the final decade I will be looking at and the North provided some fresh blood in deed, including: Arctic Monkeys, The Long Blondes, Elbow, Doves and The Cribs. However, The Libertines, Bloc Party and Muse were from the South; but the point is going to go to the North, as it was the South who have clogged our ears with artists such as Coldplay, Lady Sovereign, La Roux, James Blunt and Mumford & Sons.  Well it hasn’t been a great decade has it?

So, the North absolutely thrashed the South with a 4-2 victory, well it was a well deserved victory; we did provide the likes of Oasis, The Stone Roses, The Smiths and a little known band named The Beatles.