by Alex Monzel
New York Cities’ Drowners has just released their sophomore LP On Desire, and let me just say that whoever is on the other side of the romantic entanglement they’re writing about is going to be kicking themselves when this band gets (more) famous. Their previous, self-titled effort was written and composed by guitarist and vocalist Matthew Hitt, so it appears to be a safe assumption that this one is as well. Gothic yet sweet, the euphonious sounds that this quartet produces certainly won’t be the soundtrack of the summer, but they certainly are a must for any fans of punk/ alternative.
On Desire opens with “Troublemaker,” a track that immediately grabs your attention and rarely loses it until the last note of “Don’t Be Like That” fades from your speakers. It’s the kind of album that has everything in its proper place: from the down tempo ballad that evenly paces the whole record to that one minor chord in the pre-chorus that rounds out the song.
The LP’s lead single “Cruel Ways,” is the perfect example of what to expect from the rest of the record. It’s the kind of track that you enjoy because of its flaws, not in spite of them. Simplistic and catchy like an overplayed pop song, yet eclectic and not short of meaning. Like young adult fiction, the words are easy enough to follow and the themes are practically universal. Despite the countless others saying pretty much the same thing, Drowners somehow manage to say the same words in an order you haven’t heard before.
It’s the kind of record that makes you use words like “yet” and “but,” a lot to describe it, because it manages to pull some of the best parts from the various styles it emulates to form something unique yet familiar. Comprised of only ten tracks, you’ll find yourself missing it when it goes, but don’t worry, that’s what the repeat button is for.