Our Time Down Here - Midnight Mass (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Our Time Down Here

Midnight Mass (2012)

Take Flight Records

I caught this Southampton (U.K.)-based five-piece at a recent punk all dayer at Plymouth's White Rabbit, and was immediately impressed both by the band itself but also the crowd reaction, many of whom were already "in the know" in terms of Our Time Down Here's music. That music was energetic, high of tempo and quite melodic too. In fact, as I watched the band it raised comparisons with Strike Anywhere, Black Train Jack and a little bit of AFI. I was impressed enough to forgo a couple more pints (although I think that was a wise move) and bought Midnight Mass, the second long-player from the band, with hopes of some quality melodic hardcore hitting my ears.

The album title, the album cover (a black and white picture of a young woman and child in an overgrown graveyard) and the opening piano-driven track lead me to believe that I have might have picked up the wrong record on the night (a fair bit of alcohol was downed to be fair) and indicated that I would be in for something heavily influenced by the aforementioned AFI as well as The Black Album-era Damned with quite a distinct gothic feel to the product, but that thought was slightly eased aside when "Precognition" kicked in and big crunchy guitars and a drum battery were unfolded, with Will Gould's dulcet tones delivering lyrics that were emotive without being in that bracket of "emo" that is whiny and annoying. There are other vocal traits I hear and one is Gould's enunciation, which sounds more as if he comes from mainland Europe than the Southcoast of England. The other, and probably more worthy of note, is the occasional vocal similarity to Matt Skiba and on top of that there are times when Alkaline Trio comes to mind when listening to this record.

There are undeniably gothic tones throughout the album, musically and lyrically, but it's far from the be all and end all of what Our Time Down Here is about and first and foremost this is good quality melodic hardcore more than anything else. Our Time Down Here demonstrate an ability to change pace and avoids getting into any "one speed fits all" kind of mode and that approach ensures that this album isn't a sprint to the end nor is it an endurance activity where the end takes ages to be reached. The final track is displayed as being over eight-and-a-half minutes in length, although in reality it's done and dusted in a little over three minutes before a minute of silence is broken with a plaintive guitar over the sounds of children playing before a much more crushing track comes in. This is probably a cover version but I'll hold my hands up and say I don't know what it is other than I'd guess at it being by some East coast HC band.

I'd recommend catching this band live and also checking out Midnight Mass, as Our Time Down Here are an enjoyable band to watch. As with most things these days you can check this out on Bandcamp.