‘Portamento’ is The Drums’ first studio album after the release of self-titled debut album in 2010. No doubt that ‘Portamento’ is completely different to that of their first release. The album begins with the catchy song, ‘Book of Revelations’ and the rhythmic bass and the background harmonies are toe-tappingly addictive. As you delve deeper within the album, the theme seems to be one of self-loathing and cynicism. Other critics seem to despise the fact that The Drums have such a downbeat theme when they were expecting 60’s style peace and love in this album. Personally, I think these critics are completely wrong. Part of the reason art and music exist is so artists can express the fears of reality, deeper concepts that cannot be expressed in normal terms.
The album itself is filled with a lot more memorable hooks and choruses, especially ‘Money’, one of the first singles released from the album. And what a good decision it was! Although some would argue the rest of the album becomes dreary and repetitive, ‘Money’ stands out from the crowd. It’s great guitar and bass melody re-enforce the Morrissey-like vocals of frontman Jonathan Pierce. Another great breakthrough song from the album is ‘I Need a Doctor’. The great uplifting, bouncy melody and lyrics give a great sense of a decent into madness and simply re-enforces once again the meaning of the whole song.