With beguiling rhythms and building-block layers, Oceanside-based band the Drowning Men stand out from the indie-rock pack. Over pure punk and Irish folk and through tasteful use of voice, drums, organ, guitar, accompanied by the less conventional organ, fiddle, and bouzouki, the Drowning Men orchestrate songs of mounting energies that ultimately scream with emotion.
The quintet has followed 2007's ear-catching EP Kill The Matador with this year's Pall Jenkins-produced debut full-length Beheading of the Song Bird, affirming the band's arrival to the greater San Diego scene.
The Drowning Men could be found on a bill at an odd circus with the likes of Beirut, while the bearded lady and the trapeze artists run rampant, flowing with the music. Their live performances work this aesthetic with gusto, curlicue-mustachioed men to boot.
Track 7, "Rita," is impossible to hear and not find oneself jumping from ceiling to roof, shouting before three minutes and change suspends in time. This sets up the following track, "Courageous Son," which keeps one soaring on melody and a realization: "This is the final cure, this is America, this is the wishy-washy land, Courageous Son."
- Album title: Beheading of the Song Bird (2009)
- Artist: the Drowning Men
- Label: none
- Songs: (1) Stand in Your Mold (2) Songbird (3) Get a Heart (4) Carolina You're a Mess (5) Oracle Meets Weeping Willow (6) Down These Days (7) Rita (8) Courageous Son (9) Player Piano (Web We Weave) (10) More Than This (11) Oracle Meets Obstacle (12) Michelle Is Getting Old (13) Elementary Walls