When it comes to beatdown, finding a solid full-length is like finding a needle in a haystack. It's one of those styles that seems easy to pick up and play as a band since there's not much technicality, but many bands fail to actually write good and memorable songs. Luckily, Drowning remembered to stay true to their beatdown roots while offering enough dynamics and even some melody throughout their debut full-length, Egotrip.

The record opens up with a 911 phone recording and some sirens in the background, which is pretty telling as to the bleakness you'll experience throughout this record. "Dead End" is one of the more relentlessly dark songs on the album. But right off the bat, you realize the band's mastery of riffing and groove. It's hard not to bang your head throughout this whole record as tempos change, riffs crush, and pure aggression prevails. There's a guest vocal spot by Kublai Khan's vocalist in the last breakdown of this song, which was a highlight. It's one of my favorite moments on the album, with the last lyrics "We're all sinking/we're all drowning."

The title track is another memorable song off of this record. I've seen people write off this band as a "tough guy hardcore" band a lot, but those people probably never even gave one of their releases a real listen-though. The buildup into the breakdown about halfway through the song is great, with the lyrics "You have to give respect to get it back/I wear the crown and now you die from your ego trip" adding fuel to the fire. Whether intentional or not, the beginning of "One Way Street" has an awesome riff that reminds me of South of Heaven-era Slayer. On this track we also get to hear some sang vocals, which remind me a bit of Eddie Leeway's more melodic vocals. There's a lot of variation in the vocal approach on this song-from a Justice Tripp-like hardcore shout to a clear rap-influenced delivery, to the more melodic vocals, they're all done very well. "Corrupted Youth" is another stand-out track. From the catchy gang vocals to the Bone Thugs N' Harmony style cadence, this track provides a lot of twists and turns while remaining catchy.

"Hollowed" was another one of my favorites, with the closest thing to a repeating chorus we have on the record. It's dark and twisted, but it's a memorable melody nonetheless. Another one of the bleakest songs on the record, "Hollowed" is more introspective rather than showing the harsh realities of life in Chicago. It seems clear to me that these guys aren't bragging about the situation like a lot of people judge them for, but rather are voicing their frustration and disapproval of it.

The final track "No Conviction" shows the band's disdain for the government, with the ending spoken lyrics "You think the government fucking cares about you? Take a look around and see who's representing your country. Look who the fuck is running for president. Not my fucking president. We don't need you. We don't want you. We don't like you. We don't follow you. We got a mind of our own, you puppet motherfucker." And with that, we have a great dose of pissed off, hip hop-inspired, relentless beatdown. Check it out for yourself if you're into this type of thing and make up your own opinion.