DROWNS, THE: Blacked Out: LP

Mar 19, 2024

Fucking loved this band’s last full-length, Under Tension, in all of its grimy, heartfelt oi/streetpunk glory. That said, the band is going for something waaaay different here. Markedly more pub rock, more ’70s glam. The hooks remain huge and the melodies are still fantastic, but all of that tremendous grit and urgency seems to have been replaced with a teeth-aching amount of saccharine. (As in, there are songs about Trans Ams and halting piano ballads and Mud covers about women who are “dyn-o-mite,” et cetera.) I’m hesitant to talk shit on a record, given how much damn work it takes during every single step, from songwriting to recording to touring to just being in a band with a bunch of other yahoos, and because these folks really are great musicians. That said, Blacked Out feels like a vastly striking departure from previous efforts. Still, if you find yourself considering what they might sound like if they shrugged off any fury and went full party-album in homage to Mott The Hoople or T. Rex? Blacked Out is the record to run toward. –Keith Rosson (Pirates Press, piratespressrecords.com)

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