Underworld, London, UK - 2/3
The Down And Outs
Written by: PP on 24/03/2010 14:27:36
"Cacophony" by The Down And Outs is one of those punk rock albums that's painful for a reviewer. Not because it's a bad album, but because it's so difficult to describe in detail, as a simple sentence stating "a touch of NOFX in the guitars and the vocals, shout along choruses and plenty of skatepunk energy" is all it takes to get a good feeling of how the record sounds like. Not much more is needed because in all honesty, that statement will be enough for any fan of raw NOFX-skatepunk from mid 90s to check out this album. But here goes anyway.
From the get go, you recognize the melodic ring in the guitars to be none other than mid 90s, "Punk In Drublic" / "White Thrash Two Heebs & A Bean"-era NOFX. In places, the similarity is overwhelming - hell, even the artwork is NOFX-inspired - and elsewhere it's just slightly present at the back of your head. The Down And Outs even inject the occasional ska-punk piece (see "All Because Of You") in the midst of their otherwise high-octane delivery to complete the comparison. So does that mean that they're a no good clone band that'll make no impression on the listener? Well, sounding like one of the best punk bands to have stood on this planet is never really that bad of an issue, especially when you spice it up with hardcore punk passages ("Lost Control"), melodic pop-punk sounding tracks ("Sick Of It All"), a funny public service announcement about proper electrical socket safety, gang-vocal driven drinking songs ("Sitting Down Drinking Beer") and infectiously catchy songs like "Scarlet Letter" and many others.
So what's the conclusion? If you can't get enough of NOFX like me, then "Cacophony" offers 40 minutes worth of solid, directly NOFX-influenced skatepunk bringing back the much loved 90s sound of a band that today sounds much different than they did back then. Of course, there are other bands doing the same thing like Hit The Switch and Nicotine, but The Down And Outs stand strong alongside these names with some darn catchy songs.
Download: Scarlet Letter, Honor Not Pride, The Fight
For the fans of: NOFX, Nicotine, Hit The Switch
Release date 05.01.2010
Self-Released / Tang Pang Records (Japan)