Down to Nothing

Save It for the Birds

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If you miss the glory days of the Washington, D.C., hardcore scene and 1980s straight-edge in general, or even if you just cherish your old Madball and In My Eyes albums, you'll be favorably impressed by Down to Nothing's sharp, tight, faster-louder-harder sound and brief shout-along choruses (some of which, like the one on "Normal People," are only a couple of one-syllable words long). If you don't think hardcore should have a metal influence, though, you'll want to look elsewhere -- not that these guys are Hawkwind or anything, but every so often the pure headlong rush of hardcore rage gets bogged down momentarily in palm-muted guitar sludge. It always bounces back, though. Note, for example, the transition from "Normal People" into "Outcome" and the relatively heavy and deliberate intro to "Honorable Mention" (which then quickly slips into a more standard jackrabbit tempo). What keeps everything interesting is the sense that Down to Nothing are dealing in the sound of chaos barely controlled, and the way that they manage to keep that control solidly in place even as they tease you with the possibility of total system breakdown. Guess that's what you call...rock & roll. Recommended.

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