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Review: Drowners in LA

October 8th, 2014 by Tori Holder

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Drowners is the kind of band that lets you know who they are right out the gate. Their first single starts with the coo of “in a simple skirt you caused a ricochet,” which is effectively what the band aims to do, except that they aren’t big on wearing skirts. From their US-UK logo to the bright tumble and jostle of their music, they become the quintessence of adorapunk: slightly more effusive than power pop yet glaringly accessible when compared to their post-punk contemporaries, often contextualized by similarities to early Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, as well as their ability to be very conspicuous without hitting the mainstream in full force. It’s a touch of rebellion that manages not to muss this season’s new party dress, and while there are many ways in which that could create something undesirable: the ease of corporate sponsorship/affiliation (their current tour is in conjunction with Doc Martens – far from an evil conglomerate, and yes, adding the edge of combat-boot cool, but definitely falling under the outmoded idea that a band can “sell out”); the focus that frontman Matt Hitt is also a model – something that even this review failed to omit, as looks gain acknowledgement just from the amount of catcalls and requests to undress that fans shout in between songs*; and so many more elements of style-branding over music-substance that it would seem like a band like Drowners wasn’t worth seeing.
But that’s where you’d be wrong. The entire show crackles with energy, enthusiasm, and vibrancy. The songs are fun, and are played as such, eliciting much deserved hand-clapping and toe-tapping throughout the succinct and almost pause-free set. It’s a very sincere performance, and anyone smart enough to take up on the chance to see them can tell. Sure, they seem good fodder, but at their core Drowners is not to be taken as a joke – just as a solidly good band creating solidly good times. Their tour continues into this month and you can download their latest single “Button on Your Blouse” for free at

* Don’t be that girl/guy. People don’t start bands and make music in order to be objectified while conveying their art. If you think someone in your favourite band is cute, by all means, think that, but it is never okay to yell at a musician playing a show that you want them to take their clothes off, it’s quite shallow and bigoted, not to mention they get sick of being judged that way. Just stop.

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