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Downset: Check Your PeopleCheck Your People (2001)
Reviewer Rating: 1.5
Contributed by: Booker_PeePat Book
(others by this writer | submit your own)
California band Downset a new cd out, called Check Your People, released on Epitaph Records, one of the premier punk labels in the world. The signing of this band was, I suspect, a part of Epitaphís recent efforts to expand both the genres of music they release and their fan base. Merle Haggard, Joe Strummer, and now Downsetís signings are all clear signs of this.
What Downset brings to Epitaphís party is a piece of the rap/rock genre. And when I say rap/rock, thatís an emphasis on the rock. Downset is undeniably one of the hardest-sounding bands Iíve ever heard, miles ahead of rock bands like Korn, Limp Bizkit, even Rage Against The Machine. They have a sound that grabs you by the ears and slams your head into the wall, courtesy of guitarists Ares and Rogelio Lozano (Cypress Hillís live guitarist). Singer/lyricist Rey Oropeza lyrics are more introspective than on the bandís previous releases, "Downset" and "Do We Speak A Dead Language?", though there are songs about politics, mass-production and consumption of glossy, manufactured, radio-ready music, and the state of life in poverty-stricken areas like the bandís native South Central to level off the personal stuff.
The aim of this record is undoubtedly to show everyone how hardcore Downset is, and dammit, they certainly are hardcore. From the album cover (a crowd pummeling a single man) to the heavy, heavy licks to the screams of rage, Downset is definitely a hardcore contender. However, it took me three sittings to finally get through the entire album Ė hardcore doesnít necessarily mean listenable. To tell you the truth, I canít stand this cd. It scares me. I doubt Iíll ever listen to it again. I might even take the advice of a friend and put it in my freezer where it canít hurt me.
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