Song of the Week: “A Visit from Drum” by Liars

Sometimes you need something sinister to unwind from a bad set of dreams. I used this song—“A Visit from Drum” off of Liars’ Drums Not Dead— to shake off the writing. I’d blast it when the poems were not clicking, or when a project was faltering, stalling, or beginning to feel bleak and unworthy. The old doubts, chortling in the corner, growing louder.

My friend Greg Howard turned me onto Liars when we were in grad school together in Denver. He’d come from Chicago and had a sort of preternatural affinity for really good, strange music. Anyways, this song is a haunting, druggy mash: wickedly propulsive drums score chant-like high-end vocals against a droning guitar riff cast in reverb. It builds and accrues. Somehow the song seems at once slow and fast. Simultaneously pounding yet lulling. In a word: hypnotic. And while it’s repetitive, everything is steadily layered, and the crescendo just gets more dissonant, looming heavier even as it diminishes to clicks. I used to drive around the city at night listening to “A Visit from Drum” on repeat, trying to avoid my writing. And it worked for a while.

-Joshua Marie Wilkinson

Joshua Marie Wilkinson‘s most recent book is Swamp Isthmus (Black Ocean 2013). He lives in Tucson, where he edits The Volta with Afton Wilky and Letter Machine Editions with Noah Eli Gordon.

Questions, compliments, (hopefully not) complaints?

Contact Jackie Clark: jackie [at] coldfrontmag [dot] com.

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