Although Alternative Rock band The Drums is now a musical solo project for singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Johnathan ‘Jonny’ Pierce, the origins of the group began in Brooklyn, New York in 2008. Pierce and guitarist / keyboardist Jacob Graham, the duo initially came together as Electropop act Goat Explosion. After the band’s split, Jonny Pierce formed Elkland, another Electropop outfit who released one album, GOLDEN, in 2005. After Elkland’s split, Pierce reunited with former Goat Explosion bandmate Jacob Graham and formed The Drums. Along with former Elkland member Adam Kessler (guitar / bass) and Connor Harwick (drums), the original line-up of the band was complete.
The Drums released their debut EP, SUMMERTIME!, in 2009 and received international acclaim. While their commercial profile had been raised in the US, they became one of the most critically lauded new artists in the UK, spending a considerable amount of time touring and making TV appearances. After the 2010 release of their self-titled debut album, guitarist Kessler left the band. After the release of the group’s second album, PORTAMENTO (2011), Connor Harwick also left the group, leaving original members Jonny Pierce and Jacob Graham to steer the ship for the album ENCYCLOPEDIA (2014). By the time of the release of 2017’s ABYSMAL THOUGHTS and 2019’s BRUTALISM, Graham had left, and The Drums became a solo project for founding member Jonny Pierce.
Four years after the release of BRUTALISM, The Drums return in 2023 with their sixth album, JONNY. Continuing to create music that embraces their love of the sounds of the ‘80s – from synthpop to Post-Punk and Twee – Jonny Pierce and The Drums dish out some catchy melodies swathed in minimalist Electropop and driven home with some Peter Hook-inspired basslines. There are still plenty of guitars, but they tend to blend into the moody, emotional soundscape of JONNY instead of trying to overpower it. Highlights include the tracks “I Want It All,” “Plastic Envelope,” “Isolette,” “Obvious,” and “Protect Him Always,” but there are plenty of tracks here to rope in new listeners while also pleasing the group’s large and dedicated fanbase. This is a band that marches to the beat of their own Drums…