It’s probably the nuttiest gimmick for an album and collaborative group you’ll hear all year: Drummer is made up of five Ohio-based drummers, the most well-known (as far as drummers can be “well-known”) being Patrick Carney of the Black Keys. And while the idea of teaming five drummers on a record leads to thoughts of Nick Cannon-ready drum workouts (and they said a Drumline reference could never be done), what’s surprising here is how much Feel Good Together sounds like some lost dispatch from the nascent days of ‘90s indie rock.
For a drummer, Drummer lead singer Jon Finley (drummer in Party of Helicopters) has a pretty good voice (read: OK), alternately sounding like he just woke up from a hell of a bender or like he just got the ever-living shit kicked out of him. Not that you’ll ever really get a good handle on what the guy is saying; his vocals are buried in a fuzz so thick you’ll wonder if they recorded them while his head was in a sleeping bag. But they're just a sliver of the shambling tunes; the band is surprisingly good for never having played together prior to the album.
Lead single “Diamonds to Shake,” a Pavement-esque jammer, is the highlight here, rollicking on its mechanical drumbeats and frayed sonic mash. Opener “Lottery Dust” is perhaps the best showcase for the non-drumming musical abilities of the players involved, since it builds to a near orchestral climax via its cascading synths and dry guitar riff. The songs can tend to blur together a bit as the 10 song-album rolls along (again, thanks to the fuzz), but this is less of a project about making singles than can be used as the backing for Victoria’s Secret commercials (like Black Keys’ Magic Potion) and more like a bromance on wax.
Together, which was recorded during a period of lengthy down time for all parties earlier this year, is the sound of five guys bro-ing down, drinking beers and recording an album. It’s not the deepest thing ever recorded, but it is a fun little record that bears no pretense of seriousness.
Now that Black Keys' Dan Auerbach has launched a solo album, it's drummer Patrick Carney's turn with Drummer, a band that has a simple conceit: all the members are drummers in another band. Drummer features drummers Carney on bass, Jamie Stillman of Teeth of the Hydra on guitar, Jon Finley of Beaten Awake on vocals and guitar, Stephen Clements of Six Parts Seven on keys and vocals and Greg Boyd of Ghostman and Sandman on drums. Feel Good Together is the group's debut, and if lead single "Diamonds to Shake" is any indication, the set will have a loose, shaggy vibe. Feel Good Together is out via Carney's own Audio Eagle label.