Best of What's Next: The Drums

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Best of What's Next: The Drums

Hometown: Brooklyn
Album: Summertime! EP
Members: Jacob Graham (guitar), Connor Hanwick (drums), Adam Kessler (bass), Jonathan Pierce (vocals)
For Fans Of: Joy Division, The Shangri-Las, Orange Juice

The Drums’ lead singer Jonathan Pierce wanted to write a 1950s-style girl-group record, but Morrissey got in the way. “Having listened to The Smiths every day for the last 20 years, I just couldn’t fully pull away,” Pierce says. “As much as I tried, it’s in my bones.”

Out of that tussle came a new sound: The Drums’ debut EP, Summertime!, plays like a Factory Records company beach party, with shiny doo-wop melodies overlaying Joy Division guitars. Pierce formed the band with childhood pal Jacob Graham last winter after escaping dreary Brooklyn for Kissimmee, Fla., where the endless summer pushed them to record 20 tracks embracing what he calls “simple, blatant pop music.”

While Summertime! lives up to its title (lead single “Let’s Go Surfing” is a catchy, whistle-looped call to action), The Drums’ debut LP, coming in winter 2010, will showcase a more seasonally appropriate side of the band. “After the EP, what’s left is gloomier, darker, more brooding songs,” Pierce says. “I hope people don’t expect hand claps, whistles and cartwheels.”