At first glance, The Drowning Men may appear as an exercise in contradictions: an abundance of tattoos, facial hair (and a sentiment that skews strongly toward the blue-collar dockworkers of their hometown of Oceanside, California) married with a roots and folk-flavoured sound bursting with driving rhythmic ambition, enchanting melodies and deeply poetic lyrics.On their forthcoming second album, All Of The Unknown, sharp, intricate guitar lines play off dreamy, plaintive vocals and catchy melodies to create songs that are lasting, and infinitely memorable.
From the carnival intro of Bored in a Belly, to the fuzz-drenched pop of Smile, to the haunting piano and stripped-down vocals of A Better Place, The Drowning Men have created a monster of an album, brimming with brooding swagger, and an incredible accessibility despite its intelligent and intricate multi-instrumented layers.
The Drowning Men were formed in 2006 by long-time friends Nathan "Nato" Bardeen (vocals, keyboards, guitar, mandolin), James Smith (guitar, vocals), and Rory Dolan (drums), the three quickly recruited Todd Eisenkerch (bass, vocals) and Gabriel Messer (keyboards, vocals) to round-up the line-up. In 2007 they released their first EP, Kill The Matador. In 2009, the band recorded and released their debut LP, Beheading Of The Songbird, produced by Pall Jenkins (The Black Heart Procession, Ugly Casanova). At first self-released, but soon picked up by Borstal Beat Recordings who re-released it in the USA.
After their recent tour in Europe supporting legend Roky Erikson, The Drowning Men are set to return in August for a full European tour with Chuck Ragan, with UK dates in the Autumn to be announced shortly.
All Of The Unknown, is released on 19th August on Borstal Beat Records. Ahead of its release, The Drowning Men are offering a Free Download of album track A Fool's Campaign.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.