On their first (and apparently last, since the band "went on hiatus" shortly after its release) full album, suburban Maryland emo kidz Downtown Singapore stay comfortably in an increasingly well-worn groove. Anyone who liked Jimmy Eat World and the Get Up Kids will, well, "love" is way too strong a word for this catchy but utterly undistinguished album. "Find comfortably familiar" is closer to the mark, and that's exactly the problem. Downtown Singapore's take on the poppy-punky side of emo ranges from entirely competent to occasionally inspired -- "Clean Getaway" has a fine, surging chorus, and "Toy Soldiers and Hand Grenades" ends with a massed vocal bit that's surprisingly reminiscent of Queen -- and lead singer Jerry Scott steers clear of most of the genre's most annoying vocal tics (like the "I'm so frickin' sensitive" angst-wail), but at the album's end, nothing sticks with the listener. Don't Let Your Guard Down may eventually be seen as a harbinger of emo's final trailings into irrelevance, assuming that it's remembered at all.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason