Synthpoppers Elkand (formerly Goat Explosion) were one of my favorite under-the-radar indie bands of the mid-2000s, and when they split in 2005, I thought it was a shame that they'd never made it big. But now ex-Elkland/Goat Explosion founders Jonathan Pierce and Jacob Graham have triumphantly returned with a new Brooklyn-based buzz band, the Drums, and are enjoying the fame and acclaim that unjustly eluded their former project.
Ditching Elkland's old electropop keyboards for guitars but maintaining their former group's cool Cold War sound, the Drums have become one of THE most promising new bands of 2010. While they're just beginning to get attention here in the States, they've already received glowing, fawning accolades in the U.K., where they recently won an NME Award for Best New Band, are set to play a slew of sold-out summer festivals (including Glastonbury, T In The Park, and Reading), toured with Florence & The Machine and Kings Of Leon, and collaborated with Mark Ronson on his latest album, Record Collection.
British music mag NME in fact declared the Drums "New York's official coolest new band...the most contagiously energetic NYC band of the past 10 years," indicating that the Drums just may follow in the Converse'd footsteps of the last gang of NYC indie darlings to break big in Britain before doing so in America: The Strokes, who basically were the NME posterboys circa 2000/2001. Luckily, like the Strokes back in the day, the Drums definitely live up to their hype.
While the Drums are best known for their plugged-in electric shows, the recent and sudden departure of guitarist Adam Kessler (who had also been in Elkland) inspired them to try some things they'd never done before...namely, going acoustic. So when they recently came to Yahoo!, they played their first-ever unplugged performances, and they proved that they don't need their usual amp feedback, swirling stage fog, and Jonathan's signature herky-jerky dance moves to make an impact.
Check out the kindler, gentler, quieter Drums below. It's a different Drums, literally!