One of many fine Swedish bands to have started out on the brilliant A West Side Fabrication label based in the northern town of Skellefteå, The Drowners are a power pop combo who emerged in the mid-90s and have gone on to release five studio albums in the intervening decade - the latest of which, the ominously titled Cease To Be, was released at the end of July this year.
I mentioned the release date there because, Cease To Be being the band's first release for five years, I'd previously assumed that they'd already done just that - i.e. ceased to be - so it was a pleasant surprise to learn that The Drowners are still very much an entity.
The band comprises five members: vocallist Magnus Vikstrom, Andreas Persson on drums, Leif Renstrom and Mikael Sundqvist on guitars, and Par Nordstrom on bass. Originally influenced by bands such as R.E.M., Husker Du and The Replacements, the band quickly established their own distinctive sound, and songs such as Teenager, The Destroyer, Is There Something On Your Mind?, Summer Break My Fall and 21 all stand up well alongside the excellent Swindie pop produced by nineties contemporaries such as Popsicle, Brainpool and The Wannadies.
Here are a couple of examples of The Drowners' sound: debut single Teenager, from 1996; and, from the latest album, Words (a cover of the wonderfully cheesy 1983 F.R. David classic!).
The Drowners - Teenager mp3
The Drowners - Words (Don't Come Easy) mp3
(songs available for 7 days)
Buy Drowners stuff from Listening Post Music.
Visit The Drowners on MySpace.
Returning: Stage & Screen - Arts program Stage & Screen returns next month, but with a change to its line-up.
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