Album Review: Drowners – On Desire

On Desire

drowners on desire album Released 24th June 2016

Words: Eliza Laben

Formed in New York in 2011, four-piece, alt-rock group Drowners return with their second album, On Desire, which will be released on the 24th June. The band have played numerous headline shows and festivals as well as supported the likes of Arctic Monkeys, The Vaccines and Foals. Now set to play cities such as Manchester, Birmingham and London in September and several American tour dates throughout the summer, the band are certainly making a name for themselves and On Desire is the perfect example why.


Kicking of the ten-track album is Troublemaker, the most important track of the album. For me, the opening track sets the stage for the rest of the album and can alter anyones opinion from the of set. Luckily for Drowners, Troublemaker lives up to the expectations and is possibly my favourite song from On Desire. It’s a fast paced, edgy track exploding with gritty guitar riffs and mesmerising vocals by singer/guitarist Matthew Hitt, which hint at an air of cockiness and sensuality (something that seems common in many of their songs).


On Desire is a album that goes out of its way to show varying dynamics and still the band have complete control in every track, no frills or frenzies. A great part of this is album is the length of the songs. They’re not to long, but long enough to really get into the song. This is apparent in Someone Else Is Getting In, where the band fit in a head-banging instrumental to open, while still producing a catchy, rock’n’roll anthem with impressive drumming.


Their most recent single Conversations With Myself features on the album and differs slightly from the other tracks. Fluttering guitar riffs and pounding drum beats make for a more light-hearted and feel-good track rather than the likes of Dreams Don’t Count, which is slow and driven by emotion. It’s not that Conversations With Myself is uplifting, that’s not Drowners style, but its beat is more tuneful that grungy, reminiscent of Blossoms almost psychedelic sound.


Trust The Tension, which starts of with a glittering instrumental, immediately contradicts itself when the vocals kick in. It’s not a criticism, I was pleasantly surprised when the deep, grungy vocals began, with the complimentary bass line and metallic, psychedelic guitar riffs supporting throughout. There’s so much going on in the all the songs, you just don’t know where to start, it’s what’s so great about their music. The penultimate track Pick Up The Pace, despite it’s title, is one of the slower songs on the album. Continuing in the fashion of gleaming riffs, Drowners combine an almost indie-pop beat with thick, sultry vocals to form this uplifting track.


Drowners have managed to throw a little bit of everything into the mix, without it being overpowering or frantic. The combination of grunge, rock’n’roll, indie-pop and much more is one that shouldn’t work yet it does, and very well at that. They manage to make 90’s grunge into a modern, relevant version that is more relatable among this generation. Their songs are irresistible.


Closing the album is Don’t Be Like That, a track that opens with a plunging and prominent bass line, slowly introducing twinkling guitar riffs and drum beats and topped with the ever so familiar deep, provocative vocals. Unfortunately, I was hoping for a little more from the final track, it wasn’t anything special but i shouldn’t complain. It’s an excellent track with catchy, sing-along lyrics and everything more you could want in a song.


Overall, Drowners have produced an album that exudes confidence and shows their true potential, which judging by this is huge. It’s packed from start to finish with fantastic songs that demonstrate the bands true style. With their past single Luv, Hold Me Down racking up over one million Spotify plays, its clear to see they’re working their way to the top and there’s nothing stopping them from keeping at it.

Watch the video for Luv, Hold Me Down here:

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