Drowners - Drowners

Fun is sometimes just about enough.

Label: Frenchkiss


There’s no way to get around it, Drowners sound like The Libertines. They might be based in New York rather than London, named after a Suede song, and frontman Matthew Hitt may cite The Smiths as his favourite band, but there it is. The chord changes, the vocal melodies, the fact Hitt’s voice sounds uncannily like that of Carl Barat – no other comparison could come close.

So it would be incredibly easy to sneer at them; it’s a decade since sounding like The Libertines was ever deemed a positive, just as long as it’s been since indie clubs were fuelled by cheap watered-down vodka, Strokes songs and Klaxons’ futuristic keyboards. And Drowners would’ve fit in that scene perfectly.

Now, ‘Fun’ is a dirty word – that a band should want to inspire kids to barge the stage in glee rather than gain clicks on an internet page is an alien concept. Not that Drowners seem to care. This self-titled debut is unashamedly carefree garage-pop Whether it’s the kitchen sink drama of ‘Unzip Your Harrington’, the nostalgia-fuelled ‘Well, People Will Talk’ or the gang vocals of ‘Watch You Change’, it’s pretty simple stuff. Sure, Hitt’s literary degree could perhaps have been put to more use – the lyrics aren’t exactly scrawl-on-textbook worthy – the music is a little too polished-sounding to have ever seen actual garages, and there doesn’t seem to be much of the charm of, say, contemporaries Palma Violets, pervading any of the record’s twelve tracks. But it’s fun, and fun is sometimes just about enough.

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