I stopped listening to music for the lyrics or the melody some time ago. I'm not sure what changed, if it was a slow, gradual thing, or if I just woke up one morning and decided to listen for something else, something new, in the songs I'd already memorized back and forward. Whatever the reason was, and whenever it happened, at some point, I stopped paying attention to the words, began tuning out the tune, and started listening for the drums.
The drumline is often underrated in music; even on stage, the drummer sits all the way in the back while the guitarists prance and jump about and the lead singer belts out the song's vocals, amping up the crowd and receiving the lion's share of the limelight. But honestly, without the drums, where would a song be? A discordant clash of guitars, vocals slightly out of sync with the melody... a body with no heartbeat and no pulse. Drums are life; they move you into the mosh pit, or inspire your body to get on the floor and dance like nobody's watching.
Drums set the mood and the atmosphere for the entire piece to follow, rising and falling in volume and rhythm with the message of the song. A good drummer knows when to adhere to formula, and when to break free. And if you get a really talented person behind the kit with sticks in hand, a song that's become a bit too formulaic can become a brand new wonder for you to experience all over again.
A song can survive without vocals. It can live without a lead guitar. It can exist without bass. But without drums, there's something vital missing, something visceral and ephemeral. So when you're faced with limelight-hogging lyrics, screaming guitar riffs and throbbing bass chords all vying for attention, do yourself a favor.
Be the drums.