The Drums' Portamento continues where last year's debut left off, with indie-pop arrangements of syncopated guitar and handclap grooves over which Jonny Pierce vents his emotional concerns in a fluting high register.
Something always blocks Jonny's intentions, it seems: "I want to buy you something, but I don't have any money" he frets in "Money", bookended between songs claiming "I always knew what you were, but still I gave in" and "I'd never hate you, but you're hard to love". After a while, the formula wears thin, but not as thin as the pasty production, diluting the New Order-esque arrangements badly but matching Pierce's more whining, clingy performances. The cycling, Wendy Carlos-style synth figures of "Searching For Heaven" offer brief respite, but hardly enough to rescue an album promising far more than it delivers.
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