There was a time, largely consigned to memory now, when lead guitar players were not like the rest of us. They were gods; long-haired supermen who strode over the sod with giant platform shoes, despoiling women and melting faces with equal impunity. Thunder crashed in their wake and lightning burst forth from their guitars. The plucking of but a few mere notes by an experienced lead guitarist was enough to summon beasts to defy description, demons from the very banks of the River Styx, and, in some cases, The Devil himself. In recent times, the role of the lead guitarist has dwindled in much of popular music. Pot-luck dinners and intimate evenings have taken the place of conquest and pillage, and a typical axeman these days is undoubtedly more comfortable ordering a cup of organic fair-trade coffee than shredding for the future of mankind, atop a snow-covered mountain peak somewhere deep in the former Soviet Union. It’s deplorable. That’s where Ellis Ashbrook comes into the fold... - Andrew Jeromski. - Read Meijin Bruttomesso's interview with the band here.
"Uptempo" and "Pop" are by themselves two concepts that - in the business of being an indie band - can take you quite far; but if on top of that you add to the equation also comparisons to The Smiths, then the hype can get out of control. Brooklyn's Drowners have more than one similarity with Morrisey's act, and although they will surely feel belittled by such comparison, they should not, because no artists really managed to be The Smiths' worthy musical heir yet (like, for example, XTC were for The Beatles, Robin Hitchcock for Syd Barrett, and The Strokes for Lou Reed - uhm, maybe...).
The band's 3 songs debut EP features the remarkable single "Between Us Girls" (streaming below) which immediately throws us back to the days of "Meat is Murder," with the electric guitar alternating between jangly parts and arpeggios, and Welsh frontman Matt Hitt singing semi-melancholically about some girls' hair length - rather than about how big they are... The edge is slightly punkier, while the songwriting reveals an almost clinical concision (the song clocks in just under 2 minutes, with the first chorus coming in after 26" - A&R allergic to intros will dig that).
The second song, "You've Got it All Wrong," beats a similar musical path, tackling the infinite well of inspiration that (for Brits) is life at the pub, with the difference of a slower bridge, which acts as a breather for the final chorus. Final track "A Shell Across the Tongue" is the punkier of the bunch, but also the one with the least memorable melody.
This is obviously a band with enormous songwriting potential. If they'll manage to write songs as good as these and integrate their influences in a more mature and personal sound, the world can be theirs. - PDG