Indie bands with sampled drums
February 21, 2010 9:28 AM   Subscribe

What indie rock albums feature electronic or sampled drums in place of live drums?
posted by manwoo to Media & Arts (26 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I never know how "indie" is operationalized. But The Jesus & Mary Chain have the fuzzy guitar sound and cult status that some equate with "indie," and their album "Automatic" features drum machines & synthesized bass.
posted by .kobayashi. at 9:38 AM on February 21, 2010

My Bloody Valentine's Loveless
posted by dunkadunc at 9:49 AM on February 21, 2010

Out Hud
posted by josher71 at 10:02 AM on February 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks so far guys, yeah, I wrote "indie" as to distinguish from genres where you would expect the drums to be sampled.
posted by manwoo at 10:17 AM on February 21, 2010

Ratatat, but that's more of an answer to the question: what electronic albums feature electric guitars?

One of my current favorite artists, Deastro, is a one man band with U2ish songs, but electronic percussion.

Deastro's Ghostly labelmates School of Seven Bells & Dykehouse too.

Big Black.

Black Moustache.

The super awesome Sweet Trip.
posted by activitystory at 10:20 AM on February 21, 2010

I hardly think they'd be referred to as indie, but Cake used to have live drums on their records (and still do live) but used samples on Pressure Chief.
posted by opsin at 10:26 AM on February 21, 2010

Though according to wikipedia, three people guested on drums for it... I've no idea where though.
posted by opsin at 10:28 AM on February 21, 2010

Oh wait, you said albums, and I just gave artists.

How about They Might Be Giants' first album. I'm sure someone will bust me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there's a real drum on that entire thing, though I may just be extrapolating from the sweet motorized fill on "Don't Let's Start".
posted by activitystory at 10:31 AM on February 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yeah, seconding Big Black. Steve Albini would even wear it as a sort of badge of honor, personifying their drum machine, a Roland TR-606, by crediting it as a member of the band ("Roland").
posted by drpynchon at 10:42 AM on February 21, 2010

The Austerity Program is two guys and a drum machine.
posted by The Michael The at 11:09 AM on February 21, 2010

I'm going to assume you just mean "rock," not "indie rock," based on your definition. I've put an asterisk by albums that most people wouldn't call "indie rock," since I'm still not sure how important this genre designation is for your question.

Collective Soul - Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid* (Based on interviews, the lead singer single-handedly recorded this album using a drum machine; the liner notes incorrectly credit the whole band with playing their instruments.)

The Smashing Pumpkins - Adore*

Radiohead - Kid A, Amnesiac, Hail to the Thief, In Rainbows*

Decoder Ring - Fractions

Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism

The Notwist - Neon Golden

CocoRosie - (all albums?)

Of Montreal - Satanic Panic in the Attic, The Sunlandic Twins

I'm pretty sure all of those albums have prominent drum machines, but some of them also use real drums.
posted by Jaltcoh at 11:24 AM on February 21, 2010

Palace's Arise Therefore.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 11:42 AM on February 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

the xx use midi pads
the Julian Casablancas album is drum machine only
posted by dobie at 11:51 AM on February 21, 2010

I'm pretty sure most of Ween's early stuff was strictly drum machine. I'm pretty sure that at least this album lacks live drums entirely.
posted by joechip at 12:05 PM on February 21, 2010

Pretty much all of the Cocteau Twins catalogue.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 1:16 PM on February 21, 2010

Scotland's sadly departed Arab Strap produced magic from drum machine loops, beautiful arrangements, and often filthy lyrics. A good place to start? The Shy Retirer.

Some of the early (and better) albums by Smog also fit the bill, especially Julius Caesar and Wild Love. Here's a song from the latter: Bathysphere.
posted by cirripede at 2:48 PM on February 21, 2010

posted by dunkadunc at 3:32 PM on February 21, 2010

activitystory is right about the first They Might Be Giants album. Actually, all of their early albums (The Pink Album, Lincoln, Flood, Miscellaneous T, and Apollo 18) used a drum machine. They didn't use a real drummer / full band until John Henry.
posted by somanyamys at 6:19 PM on February 21, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks guys, this is a great this!
posted by manwoo at 6:41 PM on February 21, 2010

The Postal Service
posted by Lizsterr at 6:47 PM on February 21, 2010

@The World Famous
What are you basing that on? Where are the legions of drum machine programmers helping out indie bands making low-budget records? I'm calling shenanigans!
posted by yeoldefortran at 7:02 PM on February 21, 2010

The Radio Dept. = indie pop with a very prominent drum machine. They're great.
posted by amb at 11:10 PM on February 21, 2010

Response by poster: @The World Famous and all...who would be the masters of this...for one I would say
Danger Mouse's work with Gnarles Barkley and Sparklehorse is pretty masterly?
posted by manwoo at 4:36 AM on February 22, 2010

Handsome Furs
posted by EsotericAlgorithm at 11:43 AM on February 22, 2010

I would second the Arab Strap, the recording of the song Scenery features their drum machine doing the wrong thing at the start.
posted by multivalent at 11:31 AM on February 23, 2010

I think the first Manic Street Preachers album "Generation Terrorists" uses drum machine instead of drummer, as it was much easier to get things recorded...
posted by equality7-2521 at 2:11 PM on November 3, 2010

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