On their debut LP, Drowners find the sweet spot between modern indie-rock and classic new wave. The group formed when frontman Matthew Hitt moved from Wales to the Big Apple and found influence in the sites and sounds of the big city. He quickly assembled a group equally indebted to modern, slick rockers like the Strokes and classic, popish-punkers like Ultravox. Once they gigged for a few months, the band made their album in a rush. "We recorded it over three weeks last summer, Hitt tells Rolling Stone. "We wanted to make a romantic post-punk record and the producers, Johnny T and Gus Oberg, helped us do that."
Like many Strokes records, Drowners (out January 28th) focuses on tight riffs with high energy. As Jack Ridley snaps out bouncing, angular notes, Hitt croons tales of lovemaking and love lost. Most songs barely reach two minutes, making them as compact as they are snappy. As the songs rip by, Hitt adopts a number of facades, some charming, some vicious – and some both. On "A Button on Your Blouse," the song's narcissistic character issues the sweet sounding, but actually egotistical invitation, "Why don't you come around/undo another button on your blouse / these days / You know I rarely leave the house / and I hate the thought of you missing out."