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I Need to Know Who the Drummer Is

I Need to Know Who the Drummer Is

One of my regular music publicist correspondents sent me an electronic one-sheet recently that caught my interest, so, as I always do, I requested a physical copy of the album he was pitching. I don’t review downloads or streams because that’s a one-dimensional experience, pure sound with no context. A physical release provides artwork and packaging, production and musician credits, and hopefully lyrics—each for me an integral, irreplaceable part of experiencing an album.

In this particular case, after receiving said physical copy I fired off a slightly cranky e-mail about the fact that it included no lyrics, credits, or liner notes, not even a track list; it was just a printed sleeve with a CD inside. The publicist in question followed up with an email attaching the lyrics, but nothing more. So I returned to the one-sheet, a musical detective searching for clues.

The one-sheet does mention three band members’ names, and their roles: singer, bassist, guitarist. So far so good. But this music has drums. And they have not told me who the drummer is. And I need to know who the drummer is.

If the drummer is someone I’ve never heard of, and they impress me, I want to have the opportunity to praise their work. If the drummer is someone whose name is familiar, then regardless of what I think of their work on this album, their name provides another clue to the DNA of the music, something to help me put this record in the context of the larger body of work represented by each band member’s musical resume. Production and musician credits, besides giving credit where it’s due, act as key points of reference for a reviewer, helping us to deepen the reader’s understanding of what the music might sound like.

Anyway. After a week or so went by, I sent another note to the publicist in question, explaining that while I’d given the album a couple of spins and enjoyed much of what I’d heard, I still didn’t have enough information to complete a review. I asked specifically for the missing pieces: producer, studio, songwriting, drummer and additional musician credits. He wrote me right back saying he’d get the info to me ASAP. That was two weeks ago, and nothing has materialized.

Maybe I’ll review the album in question eventually, but it’s looking less likely every day. Because I do my best to treat every single review like it matters. And that means I need to know who the drummer is.

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