REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

Rural Wales, New York and garage rock collide on the Drowners short and punchy debut album

Old Subbacultcha

Old Subbacultcha

Named after Suede’s first single, British/New York indie band the Drowners release their self titled debut album.


Drowners - Drowners 8/10

Out 27th January

French Kiss Records

The Drowners Matthew Hitt sounds a lot like Julian Casablancas, frequently, nailing the louche drawl, slipping in some spoken sentences here and there adds to the nonchalant swagger. The comparisons with The Strokes don’t end there, musically they borrow sounds and styles,
Watch You Change has
Reptilla running through it, if imitation is a form of flattery then this album could be called a love letter to New York’s kings of garage rock. Despite these obvious (and they are incredibly obvious) references this album never sounds tired, it is full of sparkle and energy and if you like what The Strokes do they there should be enough here to keep any fan entertained. The longest song on the album comes in at two minute and forty three seconds; the shortest is the opening song
Ways to Phrase a Rejection which clocks in at tiny one minute and forty seven seconds. There’s something exciting about these short songs, they bustle in, thrash about for a couple of minutes and then it’s over and onto the next, constantly sounding like the Drowners are having a great time all of the time. Also this insanely short running time means the album never drags, they do a great job of leaving the listener wanting more. Talking about angular, compressed rock and roll Hitt says about their songs “I’ve already sung the chorus twice I don’t need to do it again, that’s what makes it a chorus! It’s like, here’s what I’m trying to say. Okay, I said it. Now it’s over. Onto the next one.” It’s not just The Strokes that play a clear influence,
Well, People Will Talk, is a re-write of the Vaccines
If You Wanna, for all the shiny indie pop there is also hints of melancholy, rejection and self-doubt running through the lyrics, the chorus is a bleak and overly familiar tale of heartbreak “I drove myself half to death wondering about who you woke up with”. There is also a lot of wit and charm flowing through the lyrics,
A Button on Your Blouse is both sexy and morose. Each song is story, a tale of rejection or a snap shot of life, on
You’ve Got It Wrong, Hitt sings
“And somewhere in the corner, he’s telling her a joke, and I had to stick the boot in, cost hats not how it goes” we’ve all been there, familiar and acutely observations of life. Even with the easily drawn comparison with The Strokes and The Vaccines,
Drowners never sounds tired or like a rehash, it’s more that they’ve taken the best bits and worked it into their own sound, it’s an exhilarating debut album, confident, assured and incredibly catchy. Expect big things for them in 2014.