We thought Drowningman's debut would be best described and contextualized by one of their peers. With that in mind here's some words on the subject by Roderic Mounir, drummer extraordinaire from Swiss math-metal wizards and fellow Hydra Head alumni Knut:
"Remember, this was year 1998 when so many great bands put out incredible releases: CONVERGE - When Forever Comes Crashing, CAVE IN - Until Your Heart Stops, BOTCH - American Nervoso, ISIS - Mosquito Control EP, REFUSED - The Shape of Punk to Come, etc. Those were exciting times for the realm of heavy underground music. A seemingly lesser-known act, DROWNINGMAN, came up that year with a moniker and a sound that brought to mind the pioneers of chaotic metallic hardcore, DEADGUY. Rising from Burlington, Vermont, they rocked in an even tighter fashion and would play even further the superlong-witty-song-title game. The album itself was presented under a semi passable (but ultimately memorable) B-movie title, Busy Signal at the Suicide Hotline.
That however wasn't the most important facet of the album- the music was: DROWNINGMAN fired on all cylinders, fusing hardcore-punk, noisecore, math-rock, metal and even indie-pop. Yes, they were the only band that could jump from a shredding metalcore part to a pretty singy-songy chorus without sounding like a preppy emo band - long before this became a fashionable (and marketable) formula. With a singer as capable as Simon Brody, you'd wonder why they wouldn't give it a shot. It worked. Most of all, the guitarists had so many great riffs under their belts - viciously discordant, blatantly rocking, anthemic, you name it, and to top it off a drummer that possessed enough versatility and musicality in his grooves to make it flow effortlessly.
Listen to opener ‘Condoning The Use Of Inhalants’: it clocks in at just under three minutes, but by the time it reaches the 2:30 mark, the band has already gone through five different riffs at least, and just as many tempo shifts, seamlessly. Drowningman were a lesson in songcraft just as much as they were in extremity. A lesson those lucky enough to cross their path undoubtedly retained."
released May 20, 1999
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