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.