3 out of 5
Label: Hydra Head
Produced by: Joe Egan (engineer)
Very solid screamo / metalcore, dropped during the prime era for such things – late 90s, early 00s – that perhaps didn’t create great waves due to lacking some key defining factor, but also gathers up all of the good aspects of the scene and executes them impressively.
Arriving like a bit more metal-driven At the Drive-In, Drowningman’s Busy Signal At The Suicide Hotline keeps its tracks tight and focused, constantly shuffling through riffs and breakdowns and, while not bothering to experiment, packs quite a bit of those riffs and breaks into each 2 – 3 minute jam. That said, songs to tend to excel when they focus on either their punky, Jimmyeatworld emo-side, or the more intense, double-bass drummed mathcore elements, tracks featuring these aspects picking up speed and suddenly becoming something pretty grabbing. But more typical “hardcore” quiet-to-loud pummeling stuff is the standard, and still, Drowningman do it well, with Simon Brody swinging easily between shouted lyrics and speak-sung stuff, Todd Tomlinson’s on-point drumming a special highlight.
Not necessarily memorable, but definitely something that grabs you in-the-moment, and is thus worth a spin.