Mommy Don’t Spank Me

Jun 01, 2021
Web Exclusive

By Emma Goad

You may recognize The Drums by their cheeky surf inspired rock and pop tunes, but their latest record, Mommy Don’t Spank Me, dives into both the new and old wave—featuring rare tracks from their early days and exploring the true substance behind the music.

Frontman Jonny Pierce writes deeper into themes of heartbreak and longing on this collection, its title being a reference to a playground chant from his childhood. There’s an emphasis on the band’s reputation for cool indie-rock sound and distinct reverb- and vibrato-drenched guitar tones. Mommy Don’t Spank Me combines this droll surf rhythm with lyrics about sexual confidence and authentic matters of the heart in a way that reveals the band’s inner softie.

Split into two sides, disc one being 11 B-sides and rarities and disc two being 11 remixes of previous projects, Mommy Don’t Spank Me reaches deeper than some of the band’s regular albums (such as 2011’s sophomore effort, Portamento). As an opener, “The Only Son” is an emotional sidewinder that features the trembling vocals from Pierce that sound like he could cry at any moment. Tracks such as “What We Had” and “I Can’t Save Your Life” are consistent with The Drums’ authentic sound and bring together the surf vibrato with the indie rock aesthetic, whereas “Blue Stripes” and “I Don’t Want to Go Alone” do not quite make the mark.

Onto disc two, and the remixes of the classic “Let’s Go Surfing” by Knight School and “Money” (with separate reworks by Beat Connection and Chad Valley) flow well with the rest of the album, mixing in a little electronic feel, but are not as necessary as the B-sides.

These tracks were written mainly in 2010 and 2011 and they are simultaneously playful and profound. Although disc two is less enticing, the first half of the album is a must-listen for Drums fans. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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