Review: “The Long Goodbye” by Downpresser

Closed Casket Activities have been quietly releasing some quality albums over the past year including “Errorzone” by Vein and “It Comes In Waves” by The Acacia Strain. Their assistance with the sophomore album from Santa Barbara, Californians Downpresser some 6 years after their debut “Don’t Need A Reason” has enabled them to tap up the team that helped the fine tuning of the Vamachara sound to give their new material something else. Produced and Engineered by Taylor Young of The Pit Recording Studio, Mastered by Brad Boatright of Audiosiege and with artwork by Sean Taggart, it’s time for guitarist Sean Lamb, bassist Taylor Parker, drummer Cayle Sain and vocalist Dan Weinraub to give us what we’ve been waiting for in “The Long Goodbye“.

Straight out of the gate like hurricane in classic Hardcore style with a ripping set of riffs in two step friendly style, Downpresser deliver us the title track with a satisfying crunch and Metallic Hardcore solo circa 1994. So when we say classic, were talking early Biohazard and Vision of Disorder, bands of that ilk. Adding a Jazz club sample to close gives it that art touch that raises a smile before diving back into the pit fodder that is “Death Instinct“. Laiden with Hardcore groove and well paced, it canon balls through breaking down the walls while remaining balanced and having an ocean of grit and integrity. “Born to Be” wears a menacing intro riff on its sleeve before taking is full throttle into some gang chanted chorus territory with headbangable riffs and groove for days. “Think Twice” sees Weinraub switch to a Sludge Metal style sung vocal for the opening verse before going back to his usual bark for the next. The style shift gives something of a Hardcore version of Crowbar feel that fits really well and when they return to a Jazz club sample to close it’s nothing short of hilarious. It’s a Godfather moment you’d least expect.

Stepping back to a galloping drum pattern and some energetic chugging riffs for “Two Stood Last (See You Around)” keeps the Sludge Metal riffs in the mid section while battering out some classic fills. The second cut to feature a solo in a style that usually only lends itself to breakdowns, it fits really well, as does the closing clean sung line. “Eyes to Heaven” has a message held within a clenched fist. Keep your ear to the ground and be aware of your surroundings. Another one to feature a style shift, this one has a groove Metal drop out that allows for a bite back before the killer blast beat opening of “Right to Profit“. A powerhouse display of stuccato riffage and rhythmic gymnastics, it’s a call out that becomes a stand out track with a killer bass part from Taylor Parker allowed to bleed out from the mix.

Looking beyond the curtain, “Turn The Screw” keeps the aggression high with a set of headbangable riffs and some vicious lyrics from the sharp tongued Weinraub. A cut of Terror quality, it will no doubt get Scott Vogel’s attention when the pair share stages in the near future. “If you can find me, you’re lost. Go back the way you came. No way to remove the stain” oh yes. Not as much a religious moment “Crisis Of Faith” is more about having a crisis of confidence and needing to sharpen the knife to save you’re own skin from the consequences of your sins. At a hundred miles per hour with plenty of bark and bite, it’s a match made in heaven for the album. “Endgame” is the white knuckle ride to decimate the weak. Metallic Hardcore thunderous bass rhythmic pounding and stuccato riffage a plenty give Weinraub the platform he needs to spit his thoughts out from mind to microphone on one of the stand out cuts, “head first, brick wall“. It may do nothing new, but it doesn’t need to. Downpresser have delivered a vibrant technicolor fine time of a Hardcore album that does exactly what it says on the tin [7.5/10]

Track listing

  1. The Long Goodbye
  2. Death Instinct
  3. Born to Be
  4. Think Twice
  5. Two Stood Last (See You Around)
  6. Eyes to Heaven
  7. Right to Profit
  8. Turn the Screw
  9. Crisis of Faith
  10. Endgame

“The Long Goodbye” by Downpresser is out now via Closed Casket Activities and available over at bandcamp

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