Friday, January 31, 2014

Drowners: "Drowners" (album review)

It feels like it's been an eternity since a Brit Pop band has broken through.  Arctic Monkeys had a promising start with a great debut record, but quickly fell flat on their faces with mediocre-to-shitty follow-ups.

The band that may provide that breakthrough is Drowners.  The UK quartet released their debut self-titled album in North America this week. Clocking in efficiently at a shade over 30-minutes, Drowners is the kind of loose, melodic guitar pop that we haven't heard from the Brits since the Halcyon days of The Libertines (especially on the raw "You've Got It All Wrong").


The record kicks off with "Ways To Phrase a Rejection", which introduces a Strokes-ish (before they sucked) guitar and vocal sound, as well as the ongoing lyrical theme of conversation.

The pop sensibility comes to the forefront on the hook-heavy lead single "Luv, Hold Me Down", and doesn't relent throughout songs like "Let Me Finish", "Pure Pleasure", and the ought-to-be radio hit "A Button On Your Blouse".

The lyrics tend to have that snotty youthfulness that you'd get from prime Oasis.  The standout line comes on "Watch You Change" when they ramble off 'there's not a shoulder cold enough for me to give her'.

On the downside, many of the songs falls just short of their potentially.  Either the chorus doesn't click quite as well as you anticipate, or the arrangement lacks focus.  Even with that, Drowners gives you far more than a glimpse of this band's potential, and hopefully, a glimpse at the bright future of Brit Pop.

Best tracks: "Watch You Change", "You've Got It All Wrong"

Track listing for Drowners:
  • Ways To Phrase a Rejection
  • Long Hair
  • Luv, Hold Me Down
  • Watch You Change
  • You've Got It All Wrong
  • Unzip Your Harrington
  • Pure Pleasure
  • Bar Chat
  • A Button On Your Blouse
  • Let Me Finish
  • Well, People Will Talk
  • A Shell Across the Tongue
7.5/10

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