Originally written by Andy Smyth
Ah hardcore…the genre of music that has definitely seen its heyday. Many a band has since treaded on this style of music and given us their interpretation. That wasn’t enough…bands started getting heavier and critics slapped metal onto the name and thus the genre metalcore was proclaimed. We are now in the midst of a musical blur where bands participate in genre-crossing left and right, and something fresh is on the brink.
Freeze, for just one moment and let this band, Drowningman come back to you from their two year hiatus and show you who they used to be. Let them show you how it all began, and how they played a defining role in the hardcore/metalcore scene from their humble beginnings back in 1996; how they built their name touring with many major acts. If you are a kid or young teen thirsting for music and curious as to where all of these new generation bands came from, then this will be a satisfying release for you. Drowningman’s Learn to Let it Go has nothing new to offer except insight as to how this New Jersey hardcore band came to be. There is absolutely no new material on this disc. This 12 song album is comprised of 10 old unreleased songs/demos and 2 alternate versions of previously released material from their first 7 inch.
Trying to give this as fair a review as I can, my first thought upon hearing the album was how dated this album sounds, and this makes complete sense. Although, funny enough, I immediately thought of eighteen visions and the direction they have gone. Other well known bands that come to mind: Poison the Well, Earth Crisis, and even the defunct emo band Sunny Day Real Estate for the music (all bands that are considered at the top of their respective genres). The music is very simplistic, but what can you expect from old unreleased demos. It is your basic emo/punk meets metal, and it sounds really forced. While trying to maintain a certain level of heaviness (core), Drowningman decides to keep one foot forever on the side of emo, and this will turn a lot of you away. However, I know there are those out there that still thirst for this raw emotional, dare I say, scream-o, style of music. So for this, Learn to Let it Go was brought forth, and be you a collector of all things ‘core’ or if you are curious as to where it all came from, then check this one out. However, for most, including myself, considering that this is retrospective and hardcore at that, this album fell flat on its face. I am not impressed.