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Encyclopedia – The Drums


Encyclopedia

When asked what influenced the sound on Encyclopedia, Jacob Gram said he wanted the album to sound like a Disney Musical, while Jonny Pierce said he wanted it to sound like a garbage can. To take a line from Pierce, “I think you can hear a little bit of both”. Encyclopedia is the combination of tragically real lyrical prose and the instrumentation to convey Pierce’s haunting musings. Amidst turmoil with members of the band, this is the first album with the two as a duo, but the classic Drums sound is maintained and improved upon.

The album opens up with an exposé of the two’s talent on Magic Mountain, with what sounds like what a house show punk band would turn out trapped inside a real magic mountain with nothing but Chaucer and old copies of Vice, with the lyrics “Inside my magic mountain we don’t have to be with them”. Rapid and syncopated drums match harmoniously with synth and dreamy lyrics, but after this initial stand of independence, the Drums peal off the outer shell of cuffed jeans and adidas, and reveal the somber reality of the album, full of technical playing, but also an understanding of what it means to write a song that isn’t ashamed of saying what it needs to say. Pierce doesn’t try to tuck anything out of sight by admitting “So help me, because I feel you drifting. You’re drifting a little, And I’m scared” on I Hope Time Doesn’t Change Him.

Encyclopedia might initially sound like what you’d expect to find on a dream-pop album out of Brooklyn, but where it excels is its lyrical/ musical simplicity, crossed with mastery. Fear of dying, fear of leaving, yet set against a distinctly American backdrop of a band that’s started to dig deep into its own distinct niche. I feel this is conveyed clearly in U.S. National Park as Pierce sings “United States national park, I don’t wanna die alone by the campfire”.

If you came to The Drums through their 2011 release Portamento, you’ll still find the mesmerizing trance tunes full of guitar riffs, but the lack of their other two members will certainly stand out, though this is not necessarily a bad thing. It sounds almost more fitting to hear the sounds of The Drums in a more mature and reminiscent way. Encyclopedia is certainly worth a listen if you’re looking to be more concerned about your inner hopes and fears than the weather this winter.

 

8/10

-Spencer Graves

 

 

 

 

Johnny Marr Playland

Playland is the second solo album from iconic indie guitarist Johnny Marr. Marr is most famous for his work with the Smiths, Modest Mouse, Electronic, etc and Playland sounds like the culmination of everything has learned playing in these different bands. Marr blends the synths from Electronic with the rock and roll edge from his bands like the Cribs and the melodic sense of the Smiths. These elements come together to make for a collection of very well crafted songs that balance pop accessibility with rock n roll edge.

While the songs here are well written the production detracts from a lot of this album. The production doesn’t let anything stand out which is unfortunate because there is so much instrumentation on this album that it can become hard to pick out individual parts and instruments begin to blend into a shoegazy wall of sound that at times over powers Marr’s voice.The glossy production here works well at times on the more layered tracks but on rockers like “Playland” the glossy production takes much of the energy out of the song. Luckily for “Playland” there’s enough of energy that the album stays interesting despite this.

All in all this is a solid album, even the poor production can’t negate the fact that these are well written, catchy songs with a lot of energy. “Playland” shows that Johnny Marr has still got it.

Favorite tracks: “Back in the Box” “Easy Money” “the Trap”

Least Favorite track: “Playland”

4/5

by Charles Pfaff

WVCW’s Top 20 : 5/11/2014-5/17/2014

WVCW’S Top 20 of the Week List

The list of our favorite top 20 songs of the week …in no particular descending order

Song

Artist

Don’t Sleep for Free

You, Me, & Apollo

Cavity

Hundred Waters

Brains

Banks

Hold Tight

Midnight Faces

Hundreds of Ways

Conor Oberst

Understand

The Roots

Dumb

Jazmine Sullivan ft. Meek Millz

                                      Die Young With Me

Blacklist Royals

Bluebell Fields

Money

Pasedena

Donnie Trumpet ft. Vic Mensa

Hooray for Henny

The Kooks

Face Down

White Lung

Satellite

Pompeya

Fix me up

Rush Midnight

Ring the Bell

White Hinterland

Burning

Night Box

We Exist

Arcade Fire

Change Your Mind

Trey Songz

If You Want to Do It

Moonshoes

La Sera

Losing to the Dark

 

WVCW’s Top 20 (4/27/2014-05/03/2014)

WVCW’S Top 20 of the Week List

Tune into our top 20 every Saturday at Noon

The list of our favorite top 20 songs of the week …in no particular descending order

 

Song

Artist

Erreur Humaine

Paws

Oblivious

Jessica Lea Mayfield

What’s On Your Mind

The Greyhounds

A Midsummer Evening

Yann Tierson

Airwaves

Ray LayMontagne

The Crash

Motion Animal

The Fire

Kina Grannis

Wild Enough

The Neighbors

Where There’s Love

The Trews

Teenager

The Rich Hand

Soldiers

The Trouble with Templeton

Woe

Wild Adriatic

Heavy Seas of Love

Damon Albarn

Down on My Luck

Vic Mensa

I Got The Moves

Habibi

I am Very Very Lonely

Chance The Rapper

Cam Girl

Jeremy and The Harlequins

Medicine

Waylayers

Want It

Kelela Feat. Tink

Imaginerapy

1

Imaginerapy Interview

WVCW special presentation

with the new web series Imaginerapy from VCUart NewMediaProject
Hosted by almost former GM Joel Austin
Featuring Maggie Monk and Lauren Davis… with some words from Paislee Winkler
Hear a sneak preview of a original song in episode 4 and learn about the web series.
Airing on YouTube tonight at 8pm
follow them online
@imaginerapy
@VcuartsNewMedia

WVCW’s Top 20 4/19/2014-4/26/2014

WVCW’S Top 20 of the Week List

Tune into our top 20 every Saturday at Noon

The list of our favorite top 20 songs of the week …in no particular descending order

 

 

Song

Artist

Vunerable (esta. remix)

Tinashe

Dominic

Ramona Lisa

Sun Model

Odesza

Visions

Murci

Ivory

Movement

No Rest For The Wicked

Lykke Li

Let Go

Little Dragon

Dreams

Boots feat. Beyonce

Primitive

Real Estate

Savage Victory

Thee Oh Sees

Flesh War

Total Control

Gone Forever

Johnossi

An Island

Chevelle