An American Anglophile indie guitar band is like a comet that comes into orbit every few years, impressing us with its mocked transient flair, only to wiz away again to more interesting galaxies that hold greater promise.
Green Day started out as a bunch of rockers that sang in affected British accents, the Killers did the same thing a dozen years later, and the Drums came on to the music scene looking like agitated English white guys that went to the same downtrodden comprehensive schools as us lot. All of these bands were received like long lost relatives here in Britain, with us buying their albums and concert tickets like it was our sworn duty. Then, all of a sudden, these wannabe British falsettos started being taken seriously in their home country, ditching their fake British accents and reinventing themselves as Bruce Springsteen’s long lost nephews. (The Drums never did make it big in America, but it’s obvious that they, too, would’ve abandoned us had their fortunes been more fortuitous.)
And now Drowners―a New York band that obviously fetishes the prospect of living in a sink bedsit in Salford like it was something to aspire to―are doing exactly the same thing, taking British indie-pop culture and selling it back to us at jacked up prices. Drowners must know that the British cannot resist any band that deploys a descending guitar line in its songs, and that is why numerous UK radio stations have put their track, Long Hair, on heavy rotation.
To be fair, lead singer Matt Hitt is a native of south Wales, but he was spotted by a scout standing outside the old Virgin Megastore in Times Square and was signed up as an international male model, a gig that proved massively successful for him. (I, too, have stood outside the same building on more than one occasion and am still awaiting.) After completing his degree in English Literature and roping in the services of some New Yorkers that can play instruments, Matt Hitt is embarking on a new career trajectory, that of a credible pop star evoking the living spirits of Steven Morrissey and Brett Anderson, with a slight hint of Tim Booth thrown in for good measure.