The third studio album from The Drums, and first on label Minor, has those familiar, 80’s synth-pop sounds that can be likened to the works of New Order. Encyclopedia, on the first listen, feels quite disjointed and abrasive. The tempo and movement through the songs seem random and feels a little uneasy, however, individually, each song is unique and has the same charm of The Drums critically acclaimed first LP.
Kicking off the album with Magic Mountain, it’s kind of confusing and makes me a little dizzy.
Following Magic Mountain, comes the first single I Can’t Pretend. Up next is I Hope Time Doesn’t Change Him, which is one of my favourite tracks on the album. It has a lot more clarity and direction than the album opener and just makes much more sense. At times throughout Encyclopedia I’m reminded of Empire of the Sun, Sonic Youth and The Smiths and I quite like it.
The album continues through with the synth sounds, twangy guitar and fast, short, drum beats that define The Drums, but there seems to be something else going on… Evident throughout the entire album is this bizarre, sci-fi undertone. It’s feels eerie and out of this world and strangely fits in really well!
Skipping the beginning and the end of this album, The Drums find their feet somewhere in the middle and have produced some pretty beautiful tunes. U.S National Park and There Is Nothing Left are both smart, well produced tracks and Deep In My Heart would have made the perfect first single.
Encyclopedia shows that The Drums have absolutely mastered the synth-pop genre and are beginning to experiment with mood and different sounds. It shows growth and determination and, although a few tracks could have been cut from the 13-track release to make it more cohesive, Encyclopedia does show The Drums are unfaltering in what they do.