Rock and Roll Killing Machine
Emo-kids can mockingly gesticulate all the grrrrrrrs and rooooaaars they want when talking about Drowningman, but the mere fact that they’d even give the Vermont quartet a listen might cue you into the band’s crossover appeal — nay, ingenuity. And the band’s second album, Rock and Roll Killing Machine, is even more ingenuous than their Busy Signal at the Suicide Hotline debut on Hydra Head Records. A generous smattering of Botch-ian headstock karate-chop n’ thrust, a bit of mid-’90s Dischord-ant prog proclivities, a trace of pre-Julia screamo choir-boy sensitivity, a snippet of indie-rockin’ skipped-beat slackerism, Rock and Roll Killing Machine finds Drowningman tossing nearly every suburban white-boy musical microcosm into a blender and setting it on liquefy, all the while fronted by a seemingly belligerent self-proclaimed “asshole,” vocalist Simon Brody. If Brody’s lyrics and their attendant song titles like “Last Week’s Minutes From the Meeting of the Secret Society of Your Friends Who Actually Hate You” or “This Year’s Most Fashionable Signs of Weakness” may sound too clever for the emo status quo, they’re that much better for it, every lyrical barb of his dripping with as much cockeyed misanthropy as the album’s blood-spotted cover does — or, for that matter, similarly murder-minded material from Cable or Today is the Day.
Eclectic and definitely electric, Rock and Roll Killing Machine is the new now sound of jaded hardcore kids becoming fed up with emo’s general preciousness and doing something about it other than getting drunk and starting fights. And for that, this writer rejoices — you can count me in.
Revelation Records, P.O. Box 5232, Huntington Beach, CA 92615; http://www.RevHQ.com