Pipedown - Enemies of Progress (Cover Artwork)


Enemies of Progress (2001)


This disc is dangerous, plain and simple, so be prepared when you listen to it because it will knock you down with its sheer intensity.

Listening to Pipedown's debut release on A-F Records (Anti-Flag's label), it is overtly discernible that these guys mean business. These socio-political minded Californians play a fiery brand of punk/hardcore that is brimming with energy and fury. Front man Ean Elliot's screaming vocals -man, can that guy scream- are harsh and glaring, as he sings of humanity, thinking for yourself, and rising up against society's preconceived notions of what "progress" is, by fighting back with ideas and knowledge instead of weapons.

On Enemies of Progress, Pipedown unleash their massive sound right from the start. The first track, "Risin' Up," is full of manic energy, blistering guitars, and Ean's insanely frantic vocals. This song exemplifies everything they are trying to convey through their music, as Ean howls, "Tear down the factory, tear down the limits of your life." In fact, all the songs have great lyrics, backed by the band's hectic, chaotic, raging, explosive sound, making for an indispensable disc. All eleven tracks are memorable, but some of the most exceptional are "Human and Human," "Mid Tempo Song," and the unsurpassable "Horror," which starts out slow and is a little eerie, with an awesome bass line and Ean singing at what must be his serenest. However, the calm tone doesn't last long, for as the song progresses, things get much heavier and once again, all hell breaks loose, making for quite a dynamic, complex song. In any case, the majority of the songs are played at rapid-fire speeds, as on the relentless "Coma" and "Struggle." Some, like "Progress Bomb," have quick tempos along with killer breakdowns that slow things up a bit.

So, Enemies of Progress is one charged disc you cannot afford to miss hearing. Along with Lars Frederiksen and the Bastards' disc, this could just be one of the best punk releases of 2001.