The Drums – “Blood Under My Belt” (Singles Going Steady)

Imagine a group of sullen kids dressed in black discovering Pet Sounds and you've got the general idea.

Chris Ingalls: Brooklyn’s Drums have cited the Beach Boys and Joy Division among their influences, and this kind of eclecticism is obvious in their music. “Blood Under My Belt” manages to combine sweet harmonies and pop hooks with a sense of pseudo-goth poses that update the sound nicely. It’s refreshing to hear a band that embraces retro influences from a variety of different sources and eras. Imagine a group of sullen kids dressed in black discovering Pet Sounds, and you’ve got the general idea. [7/10]

Paul Carr: The Drums deliver a classic sounding jangly guitar pop song. Behind the ringing guitars and fizzy chorus lies a heartsick ode to lost love and that instantly recognizable, inescapable realization that it was you who squandered it. Lead singer Jonathan Pierce begs and pleads for just one more chance over a characteristically sunshine, hazy, dream-pop backing. It’s a return to the more immediate sound of the band after the slightly heavier Encyclopedia and it’s a joy to have them back. [8/10]

Mike Schiller: Too precious by half, the Drums’ “Blood Under My Belt” is sunny indie pop by folks who sound as though they don’t feel like making sunny indie pop. The playing and singing is blasé and detached, the video is full of garish colors and willfully awkward outfits, and the song has the trajectory of a straight line. It seems as though The Drums are playing the line between detached irony and sleepy-eyed sincerity, but there’s nothing here to get excited about. [3/10]

Steve Horowitz: For a group called “The Drums” they could sure use a better drummer. The simple beats undercut the vibrancy of the song. The strained vocals effectively evoke the singer’s desperate plea for requited love. The bass solidly grounds the song, and the guitar work keeps the music moving forward. The song has an appealing vibe to it. Admitting being scared of the child within suggests the group members may not be much more than a child in a positive sense. They sing and play as if music matters just because it is fun! [8/10]

John Bergstrom: This first single without co-founder Jacob Graham has a sugary, girl-group sort of bounce. The thin production and tinny guitar, though, ensure this would never be taken as anything but indie. The video looks like an Abercrombie & Fitch ad, in all the bad ways you can imagine. [6/10]

Adriane Pontecorvo: “I don’t want this to end,” sings Jonathan Pierce, and he’s in luck, because “Blood Under My Belt” seems to go on for a very, very long time. It’s a song constantly spinning its wheels, and as catchy as it is (the surf-esque guitars sound great), it’s not all that charming. Definitely a track that could do with fewer identical verses and a stronger hook. [3/10]

Scott Zuppardo: Endlessly catchy little ditty. The mesh between boredom and bold-face anger on the faces of everyone in the video is priceless. It sounds like the new record may be a banger. [8/10]

SCORE: 6.14