Drowners

A New York band fronted by a 25-year-old Welsh model, Drowners play what they've called "friendly post-punk" – crisp, bright Anglo-Eighties guitar pop bristling with the coy cockiness of posh bros who never get much resistance at closing time. Their full-length debut piles on Johnny Marr allusions while singer Matt Hitt coolly tosses off lines like "Undo another button on your blouse/These days, you know, I rarely leave the house." Songs like "Unzip Your Harrington" and "Luv, Hold Me Down" aren't deep, but the charging-guitar shimmer and fun, facile choruses are pretty undeniable. It's kind of weird no one thought of this sooner: It's the Smiths reborn as the Strokes.

From The Archives Issue 1201: January 30, 2014