Drum Groove: “Cath…” — Jason McGerr with Death Cab For Cutie

Posted on November 14, 2021


Now that it’s fall, it’s time to listen to some Death Cab for Cutie. I know this particular album came out in May, but this LP sounds positively autumnal. Whatever, I’m not explaining myself.

This is another chance to talk about modern–day groove maestro Jason McGerr — I still have a few more performances of his to talk about, since he seems to have at least one instance of very inventive playing on each Death Cab album.

The tune today is “Cath…”, one of the big singles from Narrow Stairs. We’re focusing on the groove that Jason plays during the verse. It’s got some linear tom and kick action at the beginning of the bar, but afterward, there’re some really interesting hits on the ride bell and hats.

I’ve listened to this track dozens of times, but I’m still caught off guard by the cymbal playing in the second half of the measure since most drummers wouldn’t do that. But Jason does, and that’s why this is such a neat pattern. ICYWW, I used some live videos to pin down the exact tom orchestration.

I recommend listening to the whole track, as Jason has some other cool moves for this number.

I will be taking next week off for the holiday, but afterward, I’ll be back with a real chonker of a blog post.

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