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Down to Nothing - Splitting Headache Review
by Hobo

As soon as I read the song names of this band I was ready to hate them. So when I actually threw the CD into my player I was a tad surprised when I didn't hear a bad generic 'yo yo yo' chugga-chugga hip-hop / metalcore band. Instead what graced my ears was some kick ass, straight-edge punk-rock.

Down to Nothing was formed out of deep appreciation and inspiration of the straight edge hardcore band they had grown up listening to. They dismissed the new fads and trends of the genre and went right back to its roots - before (in the words of Bane) the scene became "a mess overrun by morons and thugs, not hard enough to make it fighting on their own".

Down to Nothing have found a home on Thorp Records, home to other great hardcore acts like Blood for Blood, (White Trash Rob's) Ramallah, the almighty Madball, Champion and Terror - one of the only good bands to come out of the new wave of hardcore. And this, their sophomore release, is simply nothing more than eleven tracks of arse-kicking, pounding, guitar-thrashing, angst-spitting, straight-edge hardcore.

The fact that this new band has avoided the shortcomings of many other newer home-boy metalcore/hardcore bands - and also managed to avoid the self-fellating, preaching tendencies of past straight-edge bands - impresses me greatly. The first track unfortunately) titled "Go Ahead Wit Yo' Fake Ass" kicks off the album with the first of many stylish riffs. Fast paced, quick and to-the-point.

"Us Vs. Eachother" is a relentless thrashy hardcore track that breaks down into a breakdown with some cool gang vocals ("what - will - you - do - when your f***in' game comes to an end?"). Another quick denouncement of unnamed individuals who would put image over substance. Smash It is a very old-school, mid paced punk track. "Burn III" is your standard rolling hardcore track with a hefty breakdown to finish things off.

"Unbreakable" is a track a little more influenced by newer hardcore built around a semi-progressive, grooving main riff and a catchy chorus ("sometimes the weight of the world knocks us off my feet, searching for solid ground, look around but nothings found"). Home Sweet Home is a more hip-hop influenced obligatory hardcore song about Down To Earth's home town.

After a few tracks it becomes apparent most the tracks follow a basic hardcore formula - verse, chorus, verse, chorus, breakdown - with a few faster, more brief thrash tracks thrown in. This album is over before it really begins, totally only twenty minutes in length, with few of the songs lasting over ninety seconds.

Regardless, that doesn't take away from the fact that this is retrogressive hardcore punk rock done relatively well. Cool cover art too.

Genre: Straight-edge hardcore punk rock
For Fans Of: Champion and Madball
Best Track(s): Go Ahead Wit' Yo Fake Ass

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Down to Nothing - Splitting Headache


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