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Facedownins*** - Nothing Positive, Only Negative Review

by Hobo

File Under: Southern fried stoner punk rock

Facedownins*** - a North Carolina based Relapse band with considerable hype and following behind them that I have strangely never actually heard. The album opens up with a very doomy segment - you're confronted by a wall of crusty droning guitars, beefed up with a fuzzed out bass. Amidst the wall of crust and noise barks a set of very aggressive distorted screams, serving as vocals.

The best was to really describe Facedownins*** is as an absolutely drug f**ked haze of aggression, THC and acid - decadent, depressive and hypnotising at times like a slow drift in a sea of heroin nothingness - other times the group becomes hyperviolent, furious and explosive with passages of dirt fried raw hardcore punk rock. The bands influences are numerous - taking elements of punk, hardcore, dirty rock, stoner rock, doom, southern rock, blues and crust.

"The guitar's my only friend / Hack the chord and everything disappears / Hack the chord until everything disappears"

Nothing Positive, Only Negative begins with the slow churn of "Plasma Centre Blues" - a doom ridden, diseased and droning song. Next comes the title track, another doomier type track which drones out on the hypnotising line "NAH-THING POS-A-TIVE, OWN-LY NEG-A-TIVE". The first two tracks really didn't do too much to endear me to the band.

Then the third track, "Countless" bursts through my speakers - cranking out a crunchy uptempo blues/rock blinder at around four times the pace of the previous tracks. These more upbeat Facedownins*** tracks have a killer southern fried, dirt metallic tone which works really well with the distorted vocals. They both compliment each other. "Ten Strip" then smacks you across the jaw with a charging raw punk rock song.

"Association of Known Undesirables" is a slower, noisy expulsion of seething hatred, breaking out into a southern stoner type blues groove reminiscent of Blood Duster's classic stoner album Str8outtanorthcote. "F**ked" begins with a great outburst, ending with an absolutely killer riff comes in with 2 mins and 30 seconds to go only to be slowly faded and fuzzed out into noise.

"Rough Sleep" begins slowly, then kicks and thrashes around for a bit then just slowly loses speed until coming to a grinding halt (something like the drugged frantic flailing of an undesirable upon realising their gruesome fate - fighting at first, furious - then slowly losing energy and succumbing to what becomes their unquestionably inevitable fate). After a passage of silence a voice mutters "so, yeah, what? Basically everything I did just blew".

Certainly a very mixed experience overall. The doomier segments don't really do it for me, but the more uptempo songs worked well. I'm not the biggest fan of doom, but I do like Neurosis and Acid Bath's more doomed out passages. There just wasn't that great build up in the doom tracks of Facedownins*** to really make the payoff for a slow moving sludged out song. The faster, more aggressive and even more twisted drug f**ked passages are f**kin' great. Very powerful stuff, though not consistently impressive. Check out the band if you're into modern doom, stoner tangents or even noisy hardcore like Converge. I am certainly interested in hearing their future efforts.

CD Info and Links

Facedownins*** - Nothing Positive, Only Negative

Label:Relapse Records

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