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Not easily pigeonholed, Drowningman's blisteringly intense sound combines elements of heavy metal, modern hardcore, grinding noise, math rock, and emo (in both its melodic and progressive, Dischord-esque forms). The band was formed in the unlikely college town of Burlington, VT; its members included vocalist Simon Brody, guitarists Javin Leonard and Matt Roy, bassist Dave Barnett, and drummer Joe Villemaire. Drowningman debuted in 1997 with a 7" single, "Weighted and Weighed Down," on Boston-based Hydra Head Records; the same label issued their debut LP, Busy Signal at the Suicide Hotline, in 1998. The album caused a stir in the metalcore underground, which only increased when the group switched to the Revelation label and issued the EP How They Light Cigarettes in Prison in 2000. Drowningman's second full-length, Rock and Roll Killing Machine, followed later that year to enthusiastic reviews, expanding their cult following. The band toured extensively in 2001, and released an EP through Equal Vision called Drowningman Still Loves You. But the lineup wasn't solid, and Drowningman started to drift. However, by 2004 Brody had reconnected with early member Denny Donovan, and with the aid of other area musicians hit restart on Drowningman. A rarities collection appeared in 2004, and Don't Push Us When We're Hot appeared from Thorp in autumn 2005. ~ Steve Huey

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1997 in Burlington, VT

Years Active:

'90s, '00s