Drowningman How They Light Cigarettes in Prison

Hydra Head defectors Drowningman resurface on Revelation Records and release their best work to date (an EP originally recorded while still aligned with the Hydra Head empire). How they Light Cigarettes in Prison takes everything that made Drowningman one of the most promising up-and-comers in the extreme music world and adds to it consistently and constantly, building on and easily surpassing their debut, Busy Signal at the Suicide Hotline. Still present is the incessant combination of shrapnel like metal riffs, intricate playing, complex structures and the bizarre ranting of front man Simon Brody, but all has been tempered with an increased emphasis on melodies, hooks and dare I say, dynamics. It's at once harsher and catchier, never an easy mix to get right. Considering the line-up for How They... has been almost completely overhauled since Busy Signal... (a war of attrition leaving only Brody and Javin Leonard remaining) it is a testament to Drowningman that they have been able to stay true to their sound, while refining and improving on it. "Black-Tie Knife Fight," with its relentless pace, catchy, melodic choruses, different moods and metal leanings may just be the best song Drowningman has ever written. "Radios Tuned to the Sounds of Hearts Breaking" sports one of the best lines in recent memory, "why does my radio play songs that make me cry?" all the while switching between emotions both punishing and pleading. The packaging and artwork is also simply superb, courtesy of Converge front man Jacob Bannon. (Revelation)