The late 1990s were a prosperous era for the genre of metallic hardcore, and few bands embodied it better than Drowningman. Hailing from Burlington, Vermont, they became a fixture in the northeast music scene, fitting in seamlessly alongside acts such as Converge and Cave In.
What set Drowningman apart was their remarkable confidence, which shone through in their early work and set them apart from their peers. While they could deliver discordant and heavy music with the best of them, they also had a knack for crafting more subdued tracks that showcased their songwriting prowess.
Notably, “Sadder Than Saturday” stands out as a prime example of their ability to seamlessly blend extreme and serene elements, drawing on noise rock, anthemic melodies, and massive riffs. For fans of metalcore, Drowningman has been a beloved and enduring presence for decades.
The present moment presents an opportune time for a new generation of music fans to discover Drowningman’s music. Iodine Recordings is marking the 25th anniversary of the band’s debut album, Busy Signal at the Suicide Hotline, by releasing it on vinyl. Fans can pre-order the album at the link provided.
Listen to and watch the live version of “Clothesline” below.
Originally released on Hydra Head Records, the album is a maze of angular riffs, total chaos, and everything that makes metallic hardcore an essential genre. This new release also features two bonus tracks, originally from Drowningman’s split with The Dillinger Escape Plan. Nowhere will you hear the roots of metalcore come to fruition than on this album. Be it how Every Time I Die misheard a lyric from the record’s title track and making it into their band name to the countless modern acts indebted to New England’s fruitful scene, it’s a gem of a record that’s hard not to obsess over.
Busy Signal at the Suicide Hotline features Simon Brody on vocals, Javin Leonard and Daryl Rabidoux on guitars, Dave Barnett on bass, and Todd Tomlinson on drums. The album was engineered by Joe Egan, mixed by Steve Evetts and mastered by Dave Merullo. Remastered for vinyl by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Jeromes Dream, Quicksand).