‘RIP indie’ is a phrase you’ll read a lot these days. Blogs and magazines around the UK are donning their mourning suits and laying to rest the genre that brought us the likes of The Libertines, The Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes.
Their songs, which taught us so much in our youth, are now nothing more than anthems for pissed up students to slur between bouts of fondling each other in the shady corners of the SU. Blame illegal downloads, X Factor, Mumford and Sons or whoever you like, fact is that it’s harder than ever for a good guitar band to make it big nowadays.
All of this hasn’t stopped ‘Drowners’ from winding back the clock and bringing New York indie to a whole new generation. Track of the day and new single ‘Luv, hold me down’ takes you back to a time when Dubstep didn’t exist and Kate Nash was fit. The jerky guitars and Casablancas-esque vocals of ex-model front man Matthew Hitt have all the hallmarks of every good band you listened in the noughties. Its energetic rhythm and incredibly catchy chorus has earned recognition on both sides of the Atlantic and even a feature in the bible of fashion, Vogue. Admittedly though, that’s probably down to Hitt’s previous life as clotheshorse for some of the world’s top fashion brands.
But it would be unfair to pin all the attention on the chiseled cheekbones of the Welsh singer. The band is good. Really good. At a time when minimal sound is fashionable and instruments just aren’t, you have to give bands like Drowners credit for looking at which way the current’s flowing and swimming back upstream.