The Drums

After releasing their popular self-titled debut last year and riding the hype of their ultra-peppy single, "Let's Go Surfing," things started to go south for The Drums. Their guitarist acrimoniously left the band, and lead singer Jonathan Pierce started telling media outlets that after "a lot of shouting matches," the band was close to breaking up altogether.

Instead, they somehow stuck it out and recorded their second LP, the symbolically titled Portamento — an Italian musical term denoting the movement from one note to the next. The songs of Portamento swell with a range of turbulent emotions. The first single, the quick-moving, addictive "Money," sounds even perkier than "Surfing." But the second, "How It Ended," is more representative of the whole album — a bit downtrodden, like a sad reflection of an emotional upheaval.

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