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Don't Look Down - The Fear In Love (Cover Artwork)

Don't Look Down

Don't Look Down: The Fear In LoveThe Fear In Love (2004)
Nitro Records

Reviewer Rating: 2
User Rating:


Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

There's a good year between Don't Look Down's Five EP and their latest effort, The Fear In Love, so wouldn't you would think with that time the band could gather a couple original ideas and maybe cool down on the shameless Thrice aping their aforementioned release offered? No? Well, yeah, me neith.
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There's a good year between Don't Look Down's Five EP and their latest effort, The Fear In Love, so wouldn't you would think with that time the band could gather a couple original ideas and maybe cool down on the shameless Thrice aping their aforementioned release offered? No? Well, yeah, me neither.

Perhaps riding some new middle ground between a more proficient, less whiny/technical Matchbook Romance and the post-hardcore stylings of latter-era Thrice, the band is starting to shed some of their old skin, but there's some really clear copycatting to be found on the disc. The lead track, "Right Where It Hurts," is probably the best evidence of such, as it's a veritable resusciation attempt of The Artist In The Ambulance, replete with references to a shadow and the "these riffs are technical, I swear!" mentality. While the rest of the album is slightly more original and even inanely catchy at points (I cursed myself for spending a day with "Last Breath"), lead vocalist Ryan Ogren still sounds like an awful lot like a younger, more raspy Dustin Kensrue. The band is doing some things right, but only in the sense of what they avoid, as The Fear In Love is devoid of unnecessary breakdowns and screaming. Shocking, I know.

I really wanted to avoid talking about lyrical content out of pure disgust, but it's a pressing point that I'll obviously need to discuss. Though the previously mentioned Thriceaholic tendencies bleed into the songwriting as well (allusions to hearts, the dark, vague murder, the burning of metaphysical objects), the talent apparently forgot to tag along again. Story of the Year would be proud of a couplet like "I can't breathe / you're choking me / your words are hands around my throat / they penetrate my skin - and kill me." This continues for each of the twelve tracks, but I'll save us both the effort from further examples.

When the positive points of a band is what they're not doing, you should probably be wary. Don't Look Down are slowly starting to crawl out of the hole they'd quickly dug themselves to begin with, but it's apparently a long, rough journey ahead up.

MP3
To All Our Saviors
STREAM
Trust is a Word
Last Breath
The Fear In Love

VIDEO
To All Our Saviors Quicktime download / Windows Media stream

 

 
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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.
soulbleed (December 4, 2004)

This is not as bad as described.

pastepunk (December 2, 2004)

New Found Glory doesn't even know what to do with themselves anymore either. Being influenced by Story of the Year is not something you really want to tell ANYONE, unless your purposely trying to create a fanbase of 15 year old girls.

--

Don't forget that there are those who intentionally try to sound like other bands, AND there are cases where influences are subconsciously built into one's songwriting...

Anonymous (December 2, 2004)

New Found Glory doesn't even know what to do with themselves anymore either. Being influenced by Story of the Year is not something you really want to tell ANYONE, unless your purposely trying to create a fanbase of 15 year old girls.

Barkley

Anonymous (December 2, 2004)

Remember when Matchbook Romance was a skatepunk band called "the Getaway?" Matchbook Romance altered their sound to try and interest kids who liked their rhythms slower, their haircuts sideways, and don't forget the occasional random scream.

Barkley

pastepunk (December 2, 2004)

Jordan-

You don't find it at all odd that every time these guys release something it changes to whats currently "in"? Come on, if you like em, fine, but seriously, they have no identity.

----

I don't think there's really much of a distinction to what they're playing now to what they started off as - and I've been into them before they had an album out, so I'm not missing anything. They started out with fast, melodic punk a la New Found Glory, but the songs were pretty simple, if not super catchy. The EP is a wash since it's definitely a transitional piece as they became better songwriters - though the acoustic tunes weren't anything worth writing home about. While there's certainly an influence of Thrice or Story of the Year on the new disc, I really don't see it being so pronounced to charge them with trend chasing. The new disc has a bunch of flaws, but I don't get the impression at all that they're trying to ride off the coattails of other bands... unlike, say The Academy Is...

Anonymous (December 2, 2004)

this band is a bunch of asshole trash.

sickboi (December 2, 2004)

Jordan-

You don't find it at all odd that every time these guys release something it changes to whats currently "in"? Come on, if you like em, fine, but seriously, they have no identity.

Anonymous (December 2, 2004)

"What would a pre hardcore band be?"

Skate punk. (Oddly enough my band joked about making a shirt that said "Melodic pre-hardcore" under our name, but we thought kids aren't smart enough to pick up that it's a joke.)

swingline (December 1, 2004)

score is for dont look down

i hope they read this too. you're all pussies. if you want to fight me, ill give you my address and we can throw down

^HAHAHAHAHA HARDXCORE
scores for the tough guy

Anonymous (December 1, 2004)

...lump a.o.f. in with this score, i should have said

Anonymous (December 1, 2004)

"i swear i saw this band a few months ago, but they were just boring, cocky pop-rock blah. maybe there is two bands with the same stupid name and a lead singer with the same bad haircut."

I ask myself those same horrific questions at what seems like every show I go to, but I think these guys opened for Hot Water Music in Anaheim. If it was them, you can lump Alexisonfire in as well. Does anybody else think a.o.f.'s "screamer" sounds more like a pissed off panther?

Anonymous (December 1, 2004)

What would a pre hardcore band be?

pastepunk (December 1, 2004)

The comments are a bit harsh in this thread (hardly surprisingly of course) - I'm not sure where people get the idea that DLD are a bunch of trend chasers - that's sorta tough to prove on a band that had only 2 CDs out and an EP that don't vary in style all that much. Sure, these guys have a very contemporary sound, but guess what, they're a contemporary band! Setting personal tastes aside, I think it's rather clear that DLD have a knack for writing catchy, well put together songs. The last I checked, there was nothing criminal in wanting to write technical guitar parts because another band did a pretty good job doing the same thing...

Anonymous (December 1, 2004)

score is for dont look down

i hope they read this too. you're all pussies. if you want to fight me, ill give you my address and we can throw down

Anonymous (December 1, 2004)

Fuck this band...i hope they read this.

Anonymous (December 1, 2004)

I happen to bring up this band to Joe Escalante back when DLD was claiming to be picked up by Kung Fu. His impression was something along the lines of "that band just figures out what's trendy, and does that." I thought it amusing but simplistic at the time. However if you listen to their records and note the year they came out it's shockingly true! Every album they've put out has been a copycat record of whatever trendy thing was going on. Very small props to them for leaving out the screaming, but I'm more inclined to believe they just couldn't pull them off rather than that they consciously decided they didn't want to be that kind of band.

With all that said, Five still managed to be one of the best emo-tinged pop punk albums to be released over the past couple years, so I had high hopes for this record. I was let down with an album full of filler. Hopefully they'll hone their songwriting a bit better when it's time to put out the synth-rock record that's inevitably coming next.

Anonymous (December 1, 2004)

i swear i saw this band a few months ago, but they were just boring, cocky pop-rock blah. maybe there is two bands with the same stupid name and a lead singer with the same bad haircut.

TheMarc (December 1, 2004)

It's also worth mentioning that this was produced by Brian McTernan, which really doesn't help the Thrice comparisons. Boring!!!

Anonymous (December 1, 2004)

I just thought the ep sounded like falloutboy...but a little less gay and a little less catchy.

just another damn band.

Anonymous (December 1, 2004)

Fuck don't look down... Posers. Fucking morons.

Anchors (December 1, 2004)

Don't Look Down, Funeral For A Friend, Matchbook Romance, Hawthorne Heights, and Story of The Year are all the exact same band.

And unfortunately for them, the sound they all share is horrid.

Anonymous (December 1, 2004)

Cos -- Give Up The Ghost.

Score is for them.

Cos (December 1, 2004)

there needs to be a ban on these "sentence-name" bands. Guys, if your band's name forms a complete sentence, chances are you suck.

Discuss.

--Cos

Anonymous (November 30, 2004)

The 5 EP is really good, and sadly when I bought this and listened it hurt, mainly my ears. It realyl is not good. Sorry DLD but this blows more than Elton John and his bf

Anonymous (November 30, 2004)

Hey, at least they're not the Sex Pistols.

-Chinatown

Anonymous (November 30, 2004)

This band will be the first to switch up their sound when the shit their peddling now is no longer valid with the kids. What a hunk of crap. The only reason they are getting two stars from me is because I think I deserve two stars for shitcanning this.

Barkley

trailerparkjesus (November 30, 2004)

The score is for no trigger.

Anonymous (November 30, 2004)

Hopefully you'll learn that referring to events/objects/people as "gay" makes you sound ignorant, redneck and just plain stupid.

Anonymous (November 30, 2004)

This band is flat out gay. Not to mention the fact that I've actually seen these fucks at the mall and when they saw me wearing a blood brothers shirt they walked up to see if I had heard of them. I said I hadn't heard their music but I'd give it a shot. What a waste of time. This shit's fucking GAY.

Anonymous (November 30, 2004)

This is one of those bands that makes compelling music only to have it completely ruined by the lyrics. Sure, it's in Thrice territory, but they have a good ear for riffing. What they need is a vocalist who'll push their sound.

swingline (November 30, 2004)

post-hardcore could be anything. fuck these record label gimmicks.

boba_fett (November 30, 2004)

this is defintiely what matchbook romance would sound like if you took out the screaming. actually, it sounds almost exactly like a small victory. neither of which comparisons are good things.

in other news: listening to the 5 no trigger songs i have... fuck man. they bring the huge rock.

joeg (November 30, 2004)

any band that is described as "post hardcore" deserves this score

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