It comes from a Scandinavian band none the less. The Drowners U.S. debut
on Wind-Up Records just goes to prove that power-pop never goes out of
style. The album contains 13 stylish tracks with rich harmonies, mod-rock
riffs with an alt-pop feel reminiscent of the Posies, the Szuters or the
more melodic side of Eve 6. "Think of Me," "Is there something on your
mind?," "One Star" and "Bittersweet" showcase the power-pop side of the
band. The songs "Bellingham" and "Seasonal Affective Disorder" show
the harder side of the band, taking them beyond the realms of power-pop
while not escaping the band's overall melodic sound. "Postello" takes the
ballad route with a beautiful melody and a virtual "wall of sound". Listen
to this one with headphones on, it's multi-textured sound is a real credit
to producer Matt Hyde and the songwriting and musicianship of The Drowners.
This CD is a well
rounded collection of radio hit friendly songs. A fine debut from a band
that has it in them to deliver the Platinum goods!
What we have here is a box of exploding
chocolates. A cherry bomb hidden in a bowl of fruit. And more to the point,
a love letter sent to that girl who never returned your calls. The best
power pop music has always been like that, sweet and infectious on the
outside and bitter and resentful on the inside, just like love and real
life. The DROWNERS play that kind of power pop, but with the emphasis
on POWER. The guitars are brash. The bass and drums rumble. The melancholy
strings are a little younger, a little louder and a little more likely
to kick her new boyfriend's ass.
While The Drowners are certainly
new masters of a proud tradition, one listen to their album and you will
hear that tradition being smacked around until it becomes a fresh idea.
THERE SOMETHING ON YOUR MIND? will attract you with a touch of familiarity,
but like any worthwhile listening experience, you'll always end up hearing
something different. Something like the difference between Cleveland, Ohio,
and Skellefteå, Sweden. Now, we all know that Cleveland is the birthplace
of Rock & Roll, but how many of you know that Skellefteå is a
small city near the Arctic Circle with some of the most extreme weather
conditions known to man? Skellefteå is also the birthplace of The
Drowners and home to a very interesting music scene of its own.
Being cold and dark from October to April
with temperatures as low as -30°F and only two hours of daylight, believe
it when guitarist Leif Rehnström tells you "that can really fuck you
up." Many Skellefteåns must undergo intense light therapy to avoid
depression. The five members of The Drowners decided to channel
their darker impulses into a much more creative endeavor, adding a crisp
edge to their pure pop influences. Judging by their lyrics alone, they
certainly have better things to be depressed about than the weather ("I'd
sell my soul for a couple of phone calls").
The first single Is There Something
On Your Mind? is about two friends who were very much in love but never
told each other. One Star features backing vocals from Ken Stringfellow
of the Posies who's also heard on Bellingham, a tribute to the Posies
written in the great tradition of bands saluting their heroes (the Replacements'
"Alex Chilton" to name but one). Another key guest appearance is made by
Veruca Salt's Louise Post on Postello, a beautiful, eerie duet about
fearing the unknown. Virus is an extremely catchy song about those
other extremely catchy songs that just won't let you go, proving that the
vicious cycle of pure pop will continue to feed itself. And like the band's
name suggests, songs such as Death Has Never Been A Friend Of Mine
and Seasonal Affective Disorder are about holding on for dear life.
Once again it all comes down to classic
songs and their eternal themes, love and loss, boy and girl, pleasure and
pain and as Leif's description of Summer Break My Fall so perfectly
sums up "another song about surviving the winter and dreaming of summer".
That's something they can even relate to in Cleveland.
The Drowners have released two albums
in Sweden, DESTROYER and WORLD RECORD PLAYER, the latter
featuring a Swedish Top 10 single with an early version of "Summer Break
My Fall." Although released only in their home country, both of these records
found their way onto the stereos of more than one "in-the-know" US (and
beyond) pop fan.
Recorded in Los Angeles with producer Matt
Hyde (Monster Magnet, Porno For Pyros), IS THERE SOMETHING ON YOUR
MIND? is a refreshing blast of soaring guitars, crashing drums and
sugar-sweet harmonies lighting the fuse on that exploding box of chocolates.
Big, bright and full of dark surprises, this record is like an overworked
mailman - it delivers from beginning to end.From The Beatles to Björk,
sometimes the most original music comes from the most unlikely places.
Now it's time to circle Skellefteå on your map and welcome The
Drowners to our side of the world.
to samples or purchase this title online