It’s not just that the five-piece group sounds like a glossy carbon copy of New Order or the Cure. It’s that its members also look like they were peeled off the cover of NME magazine. And then there was the breathless manner in which singer Jonathan Pierce constantly thanked “Washington, D.C.!” as if he’d traveled across an ocean, not down a turnpike, to get to the city.
Pierce was the focal point for the entirety of the band’s hour-plus set, the only one of the five members who wasn’t glued to his post. He traipsed around the stage, awkwardly flung his left arm while singing and generally behaved like someone who has watched too many Smiths videos for his own good. It was a bit clumsy but also endearing.There was nothing clumsy about the band’s songs, though. On last year’s self-titled debut and the recent “Portamento,” the Drums have proven to be a retro-pop band of extreme precision, with compact songs featuring sweetly sung vocals with the exact factory-recommended levels of reverb.