Release Date: January 17, 2020
Format: Digital and Physical (Get the vinyl)
Label: Pirate Press Records
Current Lineup: (Per Facebook)
- Aaron Rev (vocals/guitar),
- Andy Wyle (bass/vocals),
- Jonny Wade (guitar),
- Jake Margolis (drums)
Favorite Tracks: Cue The Violins, Black Lung, Them Rats, Battery Station,
Sounds Like: The Briggs, Buzzcocks, Cocksparrer, STLF, The Tossers, NOISE, Transplants, Dead Boys, and the Street Dogs
Let’s take the way back machine to October 12, 2018. Colorado Punk Rock Army was starting to pick up steam and this was directly related to two important events. We brought in our first female team member, Lala. This sarcastic gem of a lady is still kicking ass with us today. The second important event was that Lala reviewed, The Drown’s, “View From The Bottom”.
Let’s face the hard reality when it comes to today’s music industry. Local bands, podcasts, and zines face a daily struggle to just stick around. They try to beat social media algorithms, and budget every move they make. Only to get a couple of shares or make 17 cents on Spotify. So after Lala published her review above. Something drastically changed CPRA for the better.
Within a week Lala’s review had raked up almost a thousand views! To this day that post has the most views ever on our website. So I, Skabones naturally wanted to know why this particular post was so popular. Sadly I don’t have time to check out everything as much as I’d like. It turns out the Drowns kick ass! “View From The Bottom” has been on my constant rotation ever since October 2018.
So today marks a special day it’s release day for their new record, “Under Tension”. This is their second full album release. It is my lawful duty as a punk and a writer to give this record the old full CPRA album review treatment. The album starts with, “Black Lung”. The intro riff is nuts! The chorus is catchy and a tale of sounds to come. We all have that black lung that festers and keeps us thinking.
Next up is a personal favorite, “Them Rats”. I love an angry fist pumping sound. This track is politically charged and is reminiscent of Cocksparrer or the Transplants. It sits on a nifty ledge of punk and ska. Aaron’s vocals are killer while the heavy bass and drums inflict the power in his voice. “Wolves On The Throne follows with Andy Wyle on vocals. Andy’s voice is remarkable and sounds so much like Pete Shelley I had to check twice.
The track focuses on social justice and calls for a strong resistance to fascism. Check out these kick ass lyrics! The guitar solo towards the end is an awesome throwback to classic punk rock.
“Their numbers are thinning
It’s just the beginning
Compassion’s in fashion, my friend
I’ll bet my empathy
Against their bigotry
Ignorance won’t win again”
“Hold Fast” is next and continues that in your face assault. Aaron is back with some deep bass vocals. This is a unification song that could easily end up being a popular soccer anthem. I can see crowds of people pumping fists, cheering drinks, and slamming each other in the pit. “One More Pint” is next and thus the reason I mentioned the Tossers above. The track is obvious in title. It’s about hitting the town, after a long week, joining your friends for a nice pint. I LOVE this song! Be prepared to hear this one on your local juke. Will it replace “We Are The Brews”? I sure hope so!
“Demons” is next with Andy back on vocals. We must defeat our demons to carry on! I’m not sure if there is a female on backing vocals, but it adds that extra something to make this song fantastic.
The next track is for every person who ever felt, “Not good enough” to be dating someone or “Out of your league”. A simple love song about admitting insecurities. We have all been there. Yet eventually you will find that one person that doesn’t give a shit. They will accept you for you. Now that’s punk rock! “Cue The Violins” follows again with Andy on vocals. Check out the opening lyrics!
“She’s a pistol with a loaded gun
Cocked and raised in the morning sun
Taking aim at all the men
Who would try to reign her in
She’s a feminist flamethrower
Unrepentant whistle blower
A bulldozer to the system
And she’s on the move again”
Not only does this track rock, but the message is strong! We MUST support equality in every shape and fashion. We MUST lift up those that have been historically oppressed. “The Harder They Come, They Harder They Fall”. Another unification track about fighting religious extremism and choosing a life for you! I love the chorus! Jake’s drums are fast and loud!
The next song is “The Unknown”. This track is pogo friendly and fast. It seems almost made for union brothers and sisters. The heavy bass lines, guitar riffs sound a bit on the rockabilly side. Man this band continues to surprise me! Next up is another personal favorite song, “Battery Street”.
“Look mister please the only difference between you and me is I know who I am
I know where I’m from
I’ve got skin in the game”
Have you ever thought about the people that bust their ass to keep America running? I’m talking about dock workers, electricians, plumbers, truckers, etc. They bust their ass so we can be clothed, fed, and bed. I think we forget the sacrifices these people make every day. I could be wrong here, but I think this track is a tribute to Woody Guthrie’s, “Roll On Columbia ” or to the pacfice northwest in general.
Well I have rambled on long enough and it’s time to wrap this one up. The Drown’s, “Under Tension” is master crafted and encompassing everything we love about good old fashion punk rock and roll. The anthems, musicianship and lyrical content is making me throw this album in for Best Punk Rock Album of 2020! You MUST check it out here, https://shop.piratespressrecords.com/pages/the-drowns.
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Tracks: (Per Bandcamp)
- Black Lung
- Them Rats
- Wolves On The Throne
- Hold Fast
- One More Pint
- Wastin’ Time
- Cue The Violins
- The Harder They Come
- The Unknown
- Battery Street
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thedrowns/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thedrowns/
- Bandcamp: https://thedrowns.bandcamp.com/album/under-tension
- Website: https://shop.piratespressrecords.com/pages/the-drowns
- CPRA Presents YouTube Review Playlist – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAHReU2iGck1gS8j98PS5VrDM0-qtYua0