The Drowns “Under Tension”
The Drowns are a new act to us, but the band’s line up actually consists of veterans from the punk rock scene. The status of those members and the band is probably confirmed by the fact that this album was produced by Ted Hutt. Ted will be known to many of you due to his work with the likes of Dropkick Murphys and The Gaslight Anthem.
First song “Black Lung” is certainly an impressive start to the album, it’s equal parts aggression and melody… a tricky balance to make. It’s followed by the brilliant “Them Rats” a track that just reaffirms that this is going to be a cracking album. It summons up a euphoric feeling despite it’s harsh tones. Indeed, songs like “Wolves On The Throne” and “Wastin Time” are more examples of the way The Drowns manage to deliver their punk sound whilst keeping a focus on melody.
Initially, songs like “Hold Fast” and “The Unknown” would probably be a bit too ‘punk’ for our usual tastes. But they just have a sense of quality that gives them a wider appeal. In this regard we’re reminded of bands like The Menzingers and The Restorations. In slight contrast, when the band go ‘full on melody’ with tracks like “Demons”, “The Harder They Come” and “Battery Street” you’re back to the commercial appeal of someone like The Gaslight Anthem (in their early days).
In many ways, it’s just great to hear an album that has a sense of pure punk rock. There’s no real frills or attempts to appease anybody. If you want some straight up punk songs to blast away your blues then you won’t go wrong with this release.