Thursday, April 1, 2010

Down to Nothing - All My Sons

Yes, here it is, the latest installment of hardcore from Reaper Records. Richmond's Down to Nothing are turning out to be one of the longer lasting bands in this particular scene, churning out new material and playing shows to many straight edge kids' delight since forming in 2000. They've been fairly quiet on the release front since their last LP, The Most in 2007; only putting together the highly limited Hem Hem EP and a split with Australia's 50 Lions. All My Sons continues in a similar manner to their last full length, featuring six songs that unfortunately begin to border on the monotony level.

Sure, I was a fan of Save it for the Birds, and I probably have about four different copies of the first 7" on Dead by 23 records in my collection. Sometimes though, it feels like certain bands that are around for a decade or more inevitably start to coast on the mundane or stagnant fringe of hardcore. Maybe it's the nature of the music and lyrical content in so many of the bands out there today, or possibly there's too many other newer groups with similar, yet fresher sounds coming out, that the longer lasting guys begin to fall out of the highly temperamental limelight.

All My Sons keeps Down to Nothing in the heavier, almost metallic influenced trend that most of their recent material since The Most frequented. Nearly completely gone are the fast, punky, 60 second blasts of juvenile, skateboarding, straightedge hardcore, replaced with heavier, slower breakdowns and slightly raspier vocals from David Wood.

There's still some high points on the EP though, as these Richmond dudes haven't lost their touch for writing straightforward and catchy riffs. "Number One" sounds like a great live song with some decent mid-tempo guitar work. "Undefeated" exploded from my stereo system, bursting into exciting gang vocals with pounding percussion and bass lines to start side B of the record.

This definitely isn't some of the most original or imaginative hardcore around right now, but Down to Nothing are at least still a fun, exciting band to see live, although people such as myself would probably be bummed by the probable lack of older material. All My Sons fits pretty snugly into the Reaper Records mold, which is up to you to decide if it's necessarily a good or bad quality. I still give these guys credit for sticking it out so long, but this certainly isn't the EP I would want to characterize them with. Fans will still enjoy it, but newcomers might easily dismiss this one. Limited covers are sold out, but the regular version is still for sale from Merch Now or Reaper Records.

Buy at Reaper Records
Buy at MerchNow
Down to Nothing MySpace