The title says it all. Here are five drummers that I think are underrated for one reason or another. Basically when the subject of "awesome drummers" comes up these five names are seldom (read: never) spoken, which is a shame. I will endeavor to remedy that now.
5. Jerry Gaskill (King's X) - King's X probably makes more "underrated" lists than just about any other band I know. Jerry's never been a huge "technical" player. He doesn't need some 100-piece set, he's just a wonderfully consistent drummer. He lets the guitar and bass do what they do in the song and adding his own little flair when appropriate. He's number 5 because he's probably the most recognizable name on the list which makes him less underrated than others.
4. Ryan Van Poederooyen (Devin Townsend Band/Devin Townsend Project) - I can tell whenever Devin hires this guy to play drums because the drums aren't just background anymore. He's phenomenal! He's just all over the place with fills and is a monster with the double bass. I like it when drummers have their own style and character. He's number 4 because I think he's still young yet and could very well become "un" underrated if he hooks up with the right people. Though hooking up with Devin Townsend is a pretty good start.
3. Chris Hyde (Deliverance, Vengeance Rising) - I'll tell you what impressed me about Chris Hyde. I was listening to (or I should say slogging through) the third Vengeance Rising album, Destruction Comes. It's not very good. The production is muddy the songs aren't that great. However, as I was listening my attention started drifting to the drums. They really made that CD just a bit more enjoyable. If the guy can fight through all of Roger Martinez's craziness, overcome that album's terribleness, and make me smile while listening to the single worst Vengeance disc, I think he deserves to be on this list.
2. Steve Hindalong (The Choir, Lost Dogs) - Steve's another drummer who's not necessarily a "technical" player. You won't here mind boggling solos or double bass or triplets or blast beats, but that's okay. He's got his own unique style that comes through on whatever record he's on. It sounds like he uses brushes and those sticks that are little sticks wrapped up together (I don't know what the technical term is - drummers feel free to educate me) and it lends to his peculiar sound. Not to mention that I think he'll use just about anything that makes noise to drum on. I suppose using the term "sloppy" to describe someone's drumming style wouldn't be considered a compliment, but in this case it is.
1. Jayson Sherlock (Mortification, Horde, Paramaecium) - If anyone asked me who my absolute favorite drummer of all time is, it's Jayson Sherlock. The Mortification debut is a great example of his skill. Sure he can play fast, sure he can do double bass, but he's got this flair that brings the drums right out front and center with the rest of the instruments. He uses the bass drum, toms, and cymbals like an artist uses color and brings vibrancy to death metal. It's never just pounding away as fast as his hands can pound - he is an artist. His drumming truly brought something unique and interesting to those early Mortification albums. He's number one on this list because I think he is truly an underrated drummer in every sense of the word. I also think he doesn't quite get as much recognition because he's usually playing death metal.
So there you have it. 5 Underrated Drummers. In the future I'll be featuring other underrated musicians in bass, guitar, and vocals. Let me know if you have any nominations for those areas!