When it comes to bands that stand the test of time, of you have a line up of musicians who are friends first, it helps to provide a certain kind of chemistry that you may not find in other places. North Carolina Post Hardcore collective Down Again have done just that, spending the last 9 years outdoors skating, surfing and hiking together while writing songs that are influenced by the music of the early 2000’s like Brand New, Underoath and Thrice and having gained notoriety with their debut “The Devil Is A Gentleman“, Lenny Costa (vocals and guitar), Lucas Garcia (vocals, guitar, drums and keys) and Alex Wechter (bass) turned once again to Nick Loiacono (Abiotic, Lightworker, Paledusk) to produce their sophomore effort.
Lyrically touching on the struggles of questioning faith, loss, infidelity and mental health, there is a wealth of introspection within the folds of Down Again which manifests itself in an raw emotive and angst ridden vocal delivery as cleans are underpinned by word or phrase highlights of unclean power. As with a lot of the Post Hardcore of the 2000’s there is a clear Nu-Metal influence as the band play out songs that have given bands like BoySetsFire a career in music and it’s plain to see from the musicianship on display that this collection of songs could easily be the work of far more seasoned musicians. As good as opening cut “Predisposed” is, the dark beauty to cuts like “The Fire” with its aching piano passage and female vocal part that comes crashing down with thunderous percussion and brutal uncleans is far more personal. It’s the first part of a duo of cuts that are based on a broken relationship with “Can’t Make This Right” being a sort of Emo staple that A Day To Remember would kill for. Yes, it has been done before and it is more than a little bit cheesy but it works in an arena filling, cigarette lighter waving kind of way with a healthy dose of nostalgia. “Grey” confirms that the musicians have a good grasp of how to do atmosphere, building slowly as it burns from acoustics to a crescendo of full on agony at the close as the catharsis continues. Hopefully someone has the Xanex to hand, it’s going to be a long ride out of this hell, especially with the confessional “Your Words” that finds them bordering on suicidal thoughts that are all relatable as things everyone goes through as they transcend the teenage years into the 20s. What is perhaps missing from those heart wrenching, gut spilling moments is the element of gallows humour that made bands like Alkaline Trio so fearfully addictive but sonically, they have it nailed and these are songs that gnaw at your very bones [7.5/10]
Can’t Make This Right
“Bury The Bones” by Down Again is out 3rd September 2021