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Nov 23, 2014







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The Drowning Men, All of the Unknown
Borstal Beat Records, July 17

07/12/12
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



The formidable list of bands for whom these guys have opened includes Alkaline Trio and Airborne Toxic Event, gigs they rightly earned through a depressingly rare ability to write really good songs. They also opened for Flogging Molly, who liked them so much they made these working-class Cali guys the first signee to Molly’s newborn Bortsal Beat label. The band’s sound is a no-brainer combination of Arcade Fire and Coldplay, which in lesser hands would (quite ham-handedly) signal an intention to jump past any dues-paying slumming on a broke-ass indie label doing weird-beard-posturing music before rising straight to alternative-radio heaven — come to think of it, that’s what’s going on here, sure, but this is a rare case where it might work, if they can eventually find within themselves a lead-vocal sound that isn’t a dead ringer for either Chris Martin or Win Butler, which goes on here to such a degree that it almost sounds like some sort of supergroup team-up or whatever. But vocal unoriginality is their only sin; if you want to hear one of the best indie-rock songs ever — and I make that statement with all seriousness — try “I Am a Beggar Man.” A —Eric W. Saeger
 






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