Down To Earth


Written by: DR on 10/02/2010 17:06:49

Make a list of countries you expect a raucous post-hardcore band to hail from; is France one of them? No, of course not. France is the home to luxurious food, vintage wine, fine art, awe-inspiring architecture, you know, the kind of things that were the subject of many a high-brow joke between Frasier and Niles Crane. It's not supposed to be home to a band that's as furious as it is talented. Well, defying conventions in more aspects than that one is trio Down To Earth, who deliver a crushing barrage of progressive post-hardcore. It's full of passion, (as if anyone with more than two brain cells expected less, after all, they are French), aggression, and perhaps most surprisingly, carefully constructed melody.

These guys have as much concern for rules as they do for their vocals, which, I believe isn't all that much. There's only three people, three instruments: guitar, bass, drums. This helps their sound sound uncluttered; it's not that uncommon for post-hardcore to sound like there's too much going on all at once, Down To Earth don't fall foul of this. They have three very capable musicians who each bring their own edge, with none of them being too over-bearing, or over-shadowing each other. It's almost as if they are each doing their own thing, yet, somehow, they still sound tight as fuck. Take Thomas Laprele on bass, how often does that instrument refuse to be dominated by the guitar, and not only that, contribute equally towards the dynamics rather than being all muted into the background?

Opener "Prisms 1" starts with stuttering guitars, building towards Nicolas Aigrot's coarse vocals, complete with noticeable French-accent, which then spills into "Prisms 2" - DTE at their cantabile finest. It starts off with quiet, euphonious guitars, slowly burning towards an intense ending. That then runs into the third and final instalment of the Prisms songs: the storming "Prisms 3". Those first three songs are probably the perfect summary of this band, able to drift between the quiet/loud dynamic seamlessly, surging at one moment, serene at the next, but at all times maintaining a melodic nature.

When the music is pounding and driving is DTE at their best. The heavier songs such as "Radio Stoned" and "Countdown To Highlight" are pulled off largely because of the riffage and how utterly pissed-off they sound; the slower songs like "Blackwalls" and "Slide", where it's the song-writing ability under the spotlight, come up just short. Still, if you like your guitars explosive and vocals ferocious, this album is a must-own. At their best, Down To Earth prove to be more than a match for the heavyweights of this genre. It's the kind of music that was just made for the live-setting, where their anger will spill over into the crowd causing riots in music venues everywhere. Consider 2010 kick-started.


Download: Prisms 3, Countdown To Highlight, Radio Stoned
For Fans of: Refused, At The Drive-In, Fugazi
Listen: Deep Elm Page

Release Date 25.1.2010
Deep Elm Records

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