In the vein of Gaslight Anthem, Kings Of Leon, Springsteen, and other great Americana-inspired rockers comes The Drowning Men and their sophomore album All of the Unknown available now on Borstal Beat Records. Quirky yet traditional with an overall sound that just screams “Unique!”, The Drowning Men have crafted an album that is made to performed in front of huge audiences.

“Lost In A Lullaby” is the perfect song to reel new listeners in and entice old fans back for more. Rory Dolan’s percussive blasts rumble along as Nato Bardeen sings with conviction. The carnival sounds that begin “Bored In A Belly” might sound strange within the context of AotU but just give it a minute because it works surprisingly well as those same merry-go-round sounds are used as the backbone of the song. “Smile” is a little more straightforward as it marches at a medium pace but like most of the songs here, still manages to be outstanding (Check out James Smith’s massive guitar sounds and the keys Gabe Messer lays down as a testament to that statement!).

The instrumental eeriness of “Life In The Willow Tree” breaks up the proceedings only slightly with the next song, “A Long, Long Walk” changing the pace completely with a ’50’s inspired sway driven by Messer’s piano. “Fix Me Love” and “Questioning (A Big Ole Sham)” quicken the heart again before ending with the waltz-like quietness of “A Better Place”.

The Drowning Men is a force to be reckoned with and definitely worth your attention with an album that is a must own for 2012.

All of the Unknown is available now.

Grade: B+


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