The Drums – Tickets – The Sinclair – Cambridge, MA – November 14th, 2017
Tue, November 14, 2017
Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pmThe Sinclair
$18 advance / $20 day of show
This event is all ages
The Sinclair is general admission standing room only. Tickets available at AXS.COM, or by phone at 855-482-2090. No service charge on tickets purchased in person at The Sinclair Box office Wednesdays-Saturdays 12-7PM.http://www.sinclaircambridge.com/event/1505256/
As the last album cycle for the Drums finished and his long-term relationship with his former partner dissolved, Pierce took some time away from music altogether in hopes to reconnect with himself and find future inspiration. Determined to make a change, he ended up leaving his longtime home in New York and found himself isolated in a large empty apartment in Los Angeles, all his plans for life and love suddenly in shambles: "I said I wanted to let life happen?" he says. "Well, the universe listened and life began to fuck me real good! But honestly, I make the worst art when I'm comfortable. The stuff that resonates with me the longest -- and that resonates with others -- is always the stuff that comes out of my hardships and confusion."
That hardship and confusion -- and the clarity of personality and purpose it inspired -- became 'Abysmal Thoughts,' an unflinching autobiography with Pierce back in full control of the band. He's back to not just writing all the songs by himself but playing every instrument, too, this time realizing exactly his own personal vision for the band. Not coincidentally, it's some of the most revelatory work he's ever done. The key was opener "Mirror," and from there, 'Thoughts' simply flowed: "It very much felt like I was releasing," Pierce says. "I had this visual of turning a handle and watching steam just pour out of the valve, relieving a lot of my artistic and personal anxiety. I was dealing with so much loss and feeling unsure and scared -- and if there's one thing I can rely on it's the healing power of being an artist. I'm falling back in love with music. Creating this album on my own was a full-on long-running therapy session."
Across a year and three months of home recording -- with the same guitar, synthesizer, drum machine and reverb unit he's played since the beginning of The Drums -- Pierce put together 'Thoughts,' first in that apartment in Los Angeles and then later in his cabin in upstate New York. With help from engineer Jonathan Schenke (Parquet Courts, Mannequin Pussy and more) he gave 'Thoughts' a pop sensibility that added color and contrast to an already vivid self-portrait alive with the hyperdramatic emotional potency of the Smiths, the arch literary pop moves of New Zealanders like the Verlaines and the Clean, and the riotous clatter-punk power of the UK DIY bands of 1979. And this time around he's introduced an slight influence from early drum and bass as well, drawn from his adoration of Roni Size and other electronic artists from the UK in the 1990s.
Now the highs are higher than ever, and the lows absolutely bottomless, and it's the last song -- the title track -- that makes everything clear. The Drums are back, and while there's a heavy sadness here, Pierce is stronger for fighting through it. On possibly the loveliest and catchiest song he's got, Pierce takes his listeners to the edge of the cliff, and then drops everything but his voice, singing "Abysmal, abysmal, abysmal ..." Some albums might offer a happy ending -- even some albums by The Drums -- but here Pierce just offers an ending. Because that's more honest, isn't it?
"There's something in me that mostly prefers a sad ending," he says. "The other potential title I had was 'A Blip Of Joy,' the opposite of 'Abysmal Thoughts' -- if those two things don't sum up the emotional chaos that I feel every day, then nothing will! But 'Abysmal Thoughts' wins because ... doesn't it always?"
Built from the ground up in various bedrooms, friends' studios and quiet caverns over 2013, the exceptional EP diptych Guts and Teeth, which explore themes of anxiety, disillusionment and stasis, were released in quick succession. These intricate tapestries of melody, dripping with lush eccentricity, ascended through the ether and onto the airwaves, with Indie Shuffle, Happy, triple j, FBi Radio, 3RRR and RTRFM amongst others all taking note.
So far, 2015 has seen the band hone their sound, on debut LP Oh Inhuman Spectacle and its accompanying singles Twilight Driving and Rogues (awarded 2015 WAM Pop Song of the Year). Recorded in the same manner as its predecessors, Oh Inhuman Spectacle masterfully blends pop and esotericism to create an undeniable piece of work, which has landed at the top of many mid-year album lists and been championed by supporters new and old.
After a year of relentless touring, sharing stages with the likes of San Cisco, Holy Holy, Sunbeam Sound Machine and Courtney Barnett, Methyl Ethel are now a headliner in their own right. With their hometown album launch hitting capacity in a matter of minutes, and their Melbourne date selling out weeks in advance, the excitement surrounding the act and their breathtaking live show is palpable. October will see the band take a break from working on the follow up to Oh Human Spectacle to head stateside for CMJ, with a busy Australian summer to follow.
52 Church St
Cambridge, MA, 02138