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Belvedere / Downway - Hometown Advantage (Cover Artwork)

Belvedere / Downway

Belvedere / Downway: Hometown AdvantageHometown Advantage (2003)
Union Label Group

Reviewer Rating: 3
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Contributed by: adamAdam
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Belvedere and Downway both hail from Calgary, hence the "Hometown Advantage" title, but their split is firmly steeped in the current Californian sounds. Both bands show shades of Strung Out, Thrice and the melodic and vocal influences of the "emotional-hardcore" trend. Based on the songs on this .
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Belvedere and Downway both hail from Calgary, hence the "Hometown Advantage" title, but their split is firmly steeped in the current Californian sounds. Both bands show shades of Strung Out, Thrice and the melodic and vocal influences of the "emotional-hardcore" trend.

Based on the songs on this split, Belvedere is the most immediately enjoyable of the two acts. The band's muscular, technical and overall fast musicianship gives them an edge. Their song structures are varied enough so that each of their five tracks stands out with it's own character and influences. "Home Ice Advantage" kicks off their half with the kind of thrash and speed metal guitar play that so infatuates their countrymen in Propagandhi. "Paradise" is a more traditional melodic punk song that's executed flawlessly. Its cohesion is countered by chaotic second half of Belvedere's set. While the multiple vocalists and constantly shifting tempos are interesting to listen too, they aren't all that memorable after the fact.

Belvedere however has the added trump cards of Brian Baker and Steve Hansgen. The duo's production and mix really benefit and energize the band's sound, not to mention the motivation of getting to work with two members of the mighty Minor Threat.

It's compared to this energy that Downway suffers. The mix on their five tracks is a bit muddier and definitely lacks the punch of Belvedere's side. Their leadoff track "Forever Is The End" has a strong chorus and build-up, but I can't help getting the impression I've heard the song before. A lot of their tracks seem to do that on "Hometown Advantage" and while definitely a competent band, Downway's song writing seems derivative. The same applies to the down tempo alt-rock ballad "August" which turns down the tempo at the moment when the band desperately needed to hook me. Downway's last few contributions were decent, especially "Designated For The Weak," but I still have no feeling for what distinguishes them from so many similar groups.

Fans of both these bands should definitely check this out for the new songs, however for me there was a simply a lack of hooks here. Maybe it's just the time constraints of getting half a CD in which to leave a strong impression, but once this disc is done spinning I have a hard time remembering much of it.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
ThomPunkAheaddotcom (September 29, 2005)

Belvedere's songs absolutely rock!

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

your right, Steve's voice does sound similar to Nikola's of Millencolin. but still Belvedere kicks ass every track on here is bad ass

Anonymous (November 14, 2003)

Those of you slammin' Belvedere you need to pull your head out of your ass. Go see those guys live and then come talk to me, these guys represent to the fullest. Some good technical shit here, one of their best.

Anonymous (May 12, 2003)

ok guys what the fuck? belvedere is the best punk band there is.....
the are tech as fuck. better than your pussy fucking new found glory or some shit. i do agree on the downway being poor
belvdere should be leading punk, not anyone else

Anonymous (May 12, 2003)

technical or not it fucking rocks the shit out of most things...

Anonymous (May 12, 2003)

Belvedere technical??? they only play as fast as they can..no technical stuff there'

NO NO NO

Anonymous (May 8, 2003)

Belvedere came and rocked the shit out Edmonton the other night and I decided to pick up this split album because Belvederes last album "Twas hell..." was so fucking good.

First of all I have NOT once made it through all of the Downway tracks. The simply bore the shit out of me. The recording isnt as good as the Belvedere tracks, and seeing how they are going on the same album you should expect the quality to be the same as the other band on the disc.
Belvederes new songs are amazing, my favorites off this split are "Home Ice Advantage" and "Brand Wine".(am I the only one who thinks the singer kinda sounds like Nikola from Millencolin on some of these new songs???) I wish this album would have been an EP because I end up skipping the Downway tracks anyway. This album is worth buying simply for the Belvedere tracks alone.

So next time Belvedere is in your town pick this up(and "Twas Hell..." if you dont own it, it'll never leave your cd player) , because its not worth paying a retail price at a music store for this...

:[Chris]:

Anonymous (May 6, 2003)

what? Two Man Advantage?

Anonymous (May 6, 2003)

Calgary represent!!! - bigjerk

FortyMinutesWest (May 6, 2003)

Belvedere is pretty average. Downway is decent.

Anonymous (May 6, 2003)

I like Belvedere but you're right when you said Magneto rules.

Ramo

Anonymous (May 6, 2003)

..considering the last one was 21 minutes...

Anonymous (May 6, 2003)

this split is great, but i want a full length belvedere album dammit!

Anonymous (May 6, 2003)

Belvedere technical??? they only play as fast as they can..no technical stuff there

Anonymous (May 6, 2003)

yep, i love belvedere. they need to do a u.s. tour

KirbyPuckett (May 6, 2003)

Belvedere owns you and Magneto.

- Scott
http://www.local-felons.com/
(Famke is so cute)

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