Post-punk is a very tricky genre to master, and we often see new bands with bags of potential lose all of it to this field. The latest promising band to emerge out of the post-punk realm is Brooklyn-based Drowners. Lead by Welshman Matthew Hitt; Drowners offer a swooning, Smiths-esque brand that delivers their debut to wonderful highs, but also some unfortunate lows.
The first two-thirds of album is tremendous, being introduced by the toe-tapping, uptempo, Ways to Phrase a Rejection, the album continues through its flying start with the popular single Long Hair. There is almost a seamless transition between the two that sets the bar for the rest of the album very high. A bar that the four-piece manage to meet with ease until the later songs on the album. Another well received single, Luv, Hold me Down, ensures a nearly flawless opening to the album. Fast-forwarding a few tracks to Unzip Your Harrington, which, apart from being the best song on the album, has all the attributes required to become a huge hit. The song will undoubtedly have you humming away with its unbelievably catchy guitar riffs and fantastic vocals.
Unfortunately, Unzip Your Harrington would signal the beginning of the demise of the album. After a tremendous start, the album begins its demise following the fast-paced, guitar-heavy Pure Pleasure. Hitt sings “I can love in secret”, well to be brutally honest, some of the following five tracks are very difficult to love at all (unlike the prior tracks). Bar Chat is a feeble attempt to replicate the success of the English punk bands from the 1970’s and 80’s, and is easily the lowest of the lows on the album. A Button on Your Blouse straightens the album out, and brings it back to a similar style that was so successful on Unzip Your Harrington. Despite its brilliance, it also shows another glaring weakness the album has; length. The album clocks in at roughly 29 minutes, with A Button on Your Blouse being the longest (at 3:13), and the only track to break the three-minute mark. The album continues its disappointing ending, but leaves you with a decent aftertaste through the two closing tracks.
Drowners is out on January 28th via Frenchkiss.