| September 23, 2014|
| The Drums|
23 September 2014
| Abysmal Thoughts
Indie pop, Post-punk revival, Dream pop
The Drums, Portamento, Thank You Camellia, Room on the 3rd Floor, Conventional Weapons
Encyclopedia is the third studio album of American indie pop band The Drums. It was released on September 23, 2014, by Minor Records.
It was the first album of the band released by Jonny Pierce and Jacob Graham as a duo.
Prior to the release of the band's second album Portamento, it was announced that guitarist Adam Kessler had left The Drums and that many “shouting matches” had occurred between its members, which nearly caused a break-up. During the band's 2012 tour, former drummer and guitarist, Connor Hanwick, left the band. The Drums was then put on a hold, and both Jonny Pierce and Jacob Graham focused on their side projects. On one side, Pierce announced that he would start a solo career; in November 2012 he released his first solo track "I Didn't Realise" and announced that he would be releasing his first solo album in 2013. Jacob Graham also started working on his side project Cascading Slopes, releasing their first album Towards a Quaker View of Synthesizers in November 2013. This same month, however, Pierce announced the postponement of the release of his first solo album, to be entitled Queen Nail, as he and Graham had started working on a new Drums album.
Pierce and Graham recorded the album in a cabin in New York, and then in Williamsburg's Scientific Laboratories rehearsal studio. They described the process of working again as a duo, the first time since the band's first EP Summertime!, enjoying more freedom in the creative process, as they set the goal of changing any preconceived ideas about the band "and make songs to be as grand and majestic as we want them to be." On February 16, 2014, they announced on their official Facebook page that the third album was finished. Pierce described the album as a "rude awakening," while Graham described the album as "interesting and bizarre." On July 8, 2014, "Magic Mountain," their first new song in three years, was revealed via SoundCloud. The song was released digitally on July 22, 2014. The album's second single, "I Can't Pretend", was released on August 26, 2014.
According to review aggregator website Metacritic, the album received an average critic review score of 61/100, based on 13 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews." The first song revealed from Encyclopedia, "Magic Mountain," surprised music critics and fans alike: it was described as "stirring and unexpected", and as "a definite departure from The Drums’ earlier formulas," The song caused considerable debate amongst fans about the new direction the band were getting at. Heather Phares from AllMusic described the song as "between its buzzsaw guitars and Pierce's yelp, [it] sounds more like the Pixies than anything from their previous albums [...] it's a bracingly weird, strangely catchy two-minute song that, unfortunately, goes on for four minutes." Pitchfork described "Magic Mountain" as "The Drums’ loudest song to date [...] that posits Encyclopedia as a potentially evil twin of their bleach blonde self-titled debut from 2010."
AllMusic's Heather Phare considered the album a riskier attempt than Portamento, although "with notably uneven results", and recognized as a problem that the band hasn't delivered anything as good as the initial formula that gave them popularity at their beginnings. She notes the influence of Graham's synth work from his solo project Cascading Slopes in the album, "which aims for experimental but ends up sounding unfinished." On the other hand, she cites "I Can't Pretend" as one of the highlights of the album, along with "There Is Nothing Left", which she describes as "one of the best updates of their sound yet."Management – Asif Ahmed
Mastered By – Adam Boose
Mixed By – Eric Brouceck
Vocals, electric guitar, bass guitar, drums, synthesizer – Jonny Pierce
Synthesizer, orchestral arrangement, guitar, backing vocals – Jacob Graham
Guitar – Johnny Aries
1Magic Mountain4:05Encyclopedia (album) Wikipedia
2I Can't Pretend4:50
3I Hope Time Doesn't Change Him4:43