Drum's Not Dead - MUTE
FILTER Grade: 39%; Re-Review: 85%%
By Staff on August 11, 2011
We're not perfect and, let's face it, sometimes hindsight is truly 20/20. It's with that spirit that we approach the FILTER Re-Review, a second chance for us to evaluate our opiniony opinions on records from past FILTER magazines. How does the record hold up now that we've had years to contemplate and listen? What would we give the record if it was coming out in the next issue? FILTER's editorial staff sat down to scratch their heads on a few releases and present to you: The Re-Review.
What are some records you think we did wrong? Leave 'em in the comments and we might just give them a second look.
Then, We Said:
Back in college, my then-boyfriend thought it'd be fun to take me to see Mickey Hart, the longtime drummer for the Grateful Dead who now—when not signing copies of bullshit hippie books about music's transformative powers—hosts "drum performances." The cacophonous assault sent me reeling: random noises, pounding drums, bongos (bongos!!), chattering sticks and purported "mood music" that sounded like Dead Can Dancing to the Birthday Party drum corps. I was terrified. I jumped from my seat and ran, weaving in and out of shoeless interpretive dancers wearing cut-off tights and various gauzes, desperate for an exit. My ex later imformed me that I missed the "story" Mickey was telling with his drums. He missed the story I was telling with my vomit. The Liars' latest album somehow manages to take that experience and commit it to tape: one long ridiculous story/art project gone horribly wrong. Is this what a move from New York to Berlin does to a band? That's what the press release blames it on, but I'm chalking this one up to the transformative powers of music. CARRIE TUCKER
(originally ran in FILTER 19 Winter '06)
Now, We're Like:
Original Rating: 39%
Are We Still Listening?: (Don't) Be Quiet Mt. Heart Attack!
Reputation: OK. So it's not for everyone. But if you're even remotely a fan of Liars (and, um, maybe you should be), look past the sheer WTF and listen in carefully: Yes, that's Angus Andrews wailing and sermonizing as he always is; yes, the drums assault the ears (perhaps it's the fact that they've replaced guitars as the main focus?); and, yes, it's a free-flow psych-trip. Drum's vague storytelling is hard to pinpoint in the lyrics, but the music offers it up just fine. If there are any holes missing, your imagination and brain power should do the work to fill them in. Conceptual albums tend to be the most polarizing of any band's career. Drum's no different, but it's definitely leaning toward not just "Best of Liars," but "Best of Anything."
Re-Review Rating: 85%