Published Apr 03, 2019The Drums — now the solo project of Jonny Pierce — are back with a power album that demands to be listened to. Past records have shown Pierce's ability to create compelling and authentic surf rock, but Brutalism is much more than that. Boldly moving into synth-infused pop rock head first, he finds a blissfully raw sweet spot.
Pierce's fifth full-length tackles self-care in a beautifully honest way. Brutalism marks the Drums' second release as a solo effort, which allows Pierce the full freedom to explore different sounds. The lyrics feel no need to hide behind poetics, and telling it how it is works well for the Drums.
This album is all about Pierce accepting that insecurities and low points are a part of life, but learning to live with them is possible. Songs like "Body Chemistry" and "Loner" are deceptive in sound; this collection makes you want to dance while simultaneously withdrawing into your own self-consciousness, feeling every emotion with him.
Brutalism finds Pierce at his most confident, musically, but his most vulnerable, personally. He's able to explore new sounds without worrying about expectations, and open up about emotions that he's never touched on in his music before. Brutalism creates a story of coming to terms with insecurity and taking all of the skeletons out of the closet. The way Pierce speaks about some of his personal experiences almost sounds like he's in the process of convincing himself it will all be alright.
One of the album's best moments comes from the closing song. "Blip of Joy" is the perfect track to summarize everything that Brutalism is. This album is Pierce's culminating project that proves things might suck a lot sometimes, but all it takes is that one moment of pure bliss to remember why life isn't so bad after all. (Anti)