The Drums – “Blood Under My Belt” Track Review
With three albums under their belt it would be unreasonable to cling to the hope that The Drums will ever transcend their limitations or recapture the limelight their self-titled debut afforded them. Instead, music fans the world over have come to accept The Drums for the jangly, Smiths and surf inspired pseudo-hitmakers they are. After all, without ever “living up to the hype”, the band have amassed a catalogue of singles that stands up against any of their more decorated peers.
Jonathan Pierce was clearly born too soon. The Drums rose to prominence in an age when the indie hype machine was still capable of making myths and piling undue expectations on young artists. Had his band launched today, the singer would no doubt be revered as a man with an inescapable knack for melody and wilting romanticism, fronting a spritely group of deft indie craftsmen.
“Blood Under My Belt” fits this template exactly. Battling an incredible depth of inertia (“oh, well, this is exactly how I’d expect a Drums lead single to sound”), the track soon worms its way beneath the surface. The wistful and yet warm arrangement is masterful. “Blood Under My Belt” manages to evoke a forlorn sigh in its tone and a fly-by-night bop along with its up-tempo guitar work.
In these simultaneously energetic and pillowy surroundings, Pierce is free to weave a narrative full of heartbreaking snapshots (“you left your T-Shirt under the bed we shared together”) before unveiling a serene chorus destined to pluck at the heartstrings (“Yes it’s true that I hurt you, but I love you, I love you/I still do”). The final elongated note proves pitch perfect.
Indie music might be thoroughly on the back foot, but, as long as The Drums exist, its fawning romanticism will endure on dancefloors across the globe.