Drowners

Drowners

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New York City post-punk quartet Drowners love Suede so much that they named their group after one of their songs. They also love the Smiths, the Strokes, and the Arctic Monkeys, and they're not ashamed of sounding exactly like them. This needs to be taken into consideration when dropping the needle on the band's eponymous debut long-player, because taken at face value, it's hard to get past its thrift-shop nature, but like their brothers from across the pond, the Vaccines, with whom they have smartly toured, they lack the skill set for subterfuge. They just want to be like their heroes, and if that means treating the biz like a garage rock revival RPG game, then so be it. As punchy, infectious, and economical as they are completely derivative, songs like "Ways to Phrase a Rejection," "You've Got It All Wrong," "A Shell Across the Tongue," and "Long Hair," none of which break the two-minute mark, may sound like the nocturnal emissions of a skinny, leather-clad, Brooklyn-based gang of too-cool-for-public-school twentysomethings fronted by a Welsh-born former male model (which they are), but they're also a lot of fun. It's mostly an Is This It-fest, but frontman Matthew Hitt's accent helps to increase the Brit-pop aspects of the group, and while Jack Ridley may lack the imagination of Johnny Marr, he certainly has the chops. That said, the whole affair is ultimately an exercise in late-'90s indie rock ephemera.

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