What’s not to love about Drowners? They named themselves after a cool song by Suede, have Matt Hitt as a front man, make great music and now added to the mix is a fucking awesome debut album.
Starting things off on the eponymous album is the fast paced ‘Ways To Phase A Rejection’ which with being under the 2 minute mark Drowners have been quick to make it clear they aren’t the sort of people to stretch songs out with fancy, perfectly executed riffs and solos. You can see the resemblance with early Strokes records; the quick and snappy intros being hastily joined by heavier guitars and then the muffled vocals tagging along not much later. Moving to New York was the right thing to do Matt.
Just 4 seconds longer than the previous is ‘Long Hair’. This record doesn’t want to waste time kicking in with the good stuff – it’s straight in there. Similarly with strong choruses, stand-out riffs and those Casablancas-esque vocals; just imagine this live. Without much time to reflect on the last two tracks ‘Luv, Hold Me Down’ follows the same routine but with the added minute this one shows a bit more of what the guys are capable of. We even have an extended bridge!! A little love note on an album can never go wrong.
‘Watch You Change’ is up next and beginning with a perky riff which is instantly juxtaposed by the tinged-by-sadness vocals. Again ‘You’ve Got It Wrong’ is a quick pleaser; they’re not afraid to brandish good, trusty old tunes but with a new twist. The new recording sounds more robust and hardy which fits in far better with the rest of the record. Don’t cringe at the title of the next song, it’s not bad like it sounds. ‘Unzip Your Harrington’ slows things down a bit with more focus on the fuzzy vocals – you can imagine it the track live where everyone gets a breather and sways along waiting for the next wave of chaos to outbreak.
Not much of a breather though with the reintroduction of fast-paced tunes coming back with ‘Pure Pleasure’. Overdriven guitars accompanied with another guitar covering all the riffs and then drums driving the rest of the track along. ‘Bar Chat’ carries on this full-frontal approach but with an even more energetic impact forcing you to do nothing else but full-heartedly sing along.
The only song breaking the under 3 minute rule is ‘A Button On Your Blouse’ which extends itself to include a slowed down and more calm tone. The flirtatious side of Drowners comes across here with the lyrics “why don’t you just come around and undo the button on your blouse … I hate the thought of you missing out”. Is this a more thoughtful Drowners we’re seeing here? A more delicate and tender side is shown in the strong emphasis on the lyrics and the softening of the backing. So, ‘Let Me Finish’. Quickly that emotional band we just saw is gone and replaced with prominent bass-lines, stand out vocals and all-around energetic guitars. They’ve thrown everything out there for this one.
Finishing things off with yet another 2 forceful tracks in ‘Well People Will Talk’ and ‘Shell Across The Tongue’. They’re not going to try play down their raucous side and leave us with something that’s not Drowners enough.
A debut full of hits. Drowners might be seen as an album which was just played safe and stuck to the same classic indie-rock conventions but it’s worked for the quartet.
Drowners are supporting Skaters on their tour throught the UK and Drowners is available to purchase from Monday (27th Jan) but for now check it out here!