Written by: PP on 11/09/2014 22:57:22

Here's an album that has blown me away ever since I discovered it by accident a couple of weeks ago. The self-titled debut album by Drowners from New York basically references classic The Strokes material from "Is This It" and "Room On Fire" with a heavy hand but sounds extremely good in the process, so much so that the inevitable copycat criticism isn't going to be an issue this time around. Their songwriting is awe-inspiring throughout, leaving behind twelve tracks that could each bear the album on their shoulders as the lead single for the record. This is how great and engaging indie rock sounds like, ladies and gents, thanks to a soundscape hell-bent on being upbeat and full of energy all the time. That the band exhibits sheer joy of playing and is full of enthusiasm as well doesn't hurt, quite the contrary.

The album is very heavily guitar driven. Every song contains more playful guitar melodies than most bands write during their entire career, which showcase seamless interplay with the infectious choruses that rely on simplistic, tried-and-tested repeated lines, but oftentimes also story-driven lyricism that showcases some real depth by vocalist Matthew Hill. The guitars are tightly played, but resonate and echo nicely in the expanding soundscape, though taking close care of never crossing over to an over-inflated or overproduced territory. This coupled with simply brilliant songwriting prowess means that pretty much every song on the album qualifies as hit material ready for the radio. That it does this without being shallow at all is all the better, displaying an exemplary performance of how indie rock should always be played: with heart, passion, and full of energy.

Although it is difficult to pick just a few highlights from a record that seems to consist nothing but highlights, "Pure Pleasure" works really well in its melancholic style that almost sounds like Alkaline Trio went indie rock for a brief stint. "Let Me Finish" is probably the best song on the album overall with ridiculously catchy vocal work and superb lyricism that leaves a lasting impression the first time you hear Hill sing them with his slightly arrogant, but easily lovable voice.

"I'd carve along the avenue, retracing steps that we once took. And here I am looking on the sun, what else must remind me of you at some extent. But I know it was bad to see you but I let it slip, I let it slip.

When I feel the sweet caress of your familiar lower lip, that's dancing on my neck and oh God I can't control myself.

Still, songs like "Luv, Hold Me Down", "You've Got It Wrong", and the rowdy "Bar Chat" make a strong case for the same title. Basically, Drowners are extremely consistent in their songwriting and have written zero bad songs out of the 12 available on the record. Sure, it sounds a hell of a lot like old Strokes, but does that really matter when the songs are this well written and energetic? Me thinks not. Easily a candidate for one of the best indie rock albums in 2014.

Download: Pure Pleasure, Let Me Finish, Luv Hold Me Down, You've Got It Wrong, Long Hair, Bar Chat,
For the fans of: The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, Kings Of Leon,
Listen: Facebook

Release date 28.01.2014
Frenchkiss Records

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