Waterdown - The Files You Have On Me (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


The Files You Have On Me (2003)


A lot of you have been bitching lately that Victory Records has lost it's edge. With it's recent releases of bands like Snowdogs, the Reunion Show, and Count The Stars, as well as new signings like Spitalfield, a lot of you old hardcore kids who grew up on Snapcase and the like are feeling a little bit hung out to try. Well worry no longer, because Waterdown should soothe your stressed nerves while at the same time get you moshing in your computer chair.

Waterdown is a six-piece technical hardcore band hailing from over the Atlantic Ocean in Germany, to be exact, and their style [to my mostly virgin ears, by hardcore standards] seems to fall in between two former Victory bands - Boy Sets Fire and Thursday. Their sound is more focused and deliberate than that of Thursday's, and singers Marcel and Ingo are both better singers *and* screamers than anyone in that New Jersey outfit.

As for the Boy Sets Fire comparison, Waterdown's breakdowns seem to draw parallels to the moshing parts in slower BSF songs. Lyrically the band doesn't even come close to Nathan Gray's political poetry, but for a bunch of Germans writing and singing in English, it certaintly isn't a poor effort.

The disc has some obvious standouts in the first few tracks, of which "A Fortress" and "Transient" have become my favorites. "Xerox" shows more of a Quicksand-esque posthardcore element being injected into the mix, but it gets stale by the fourth minute of the song. The band has a hard time escaping their own formula for the rest of the album, using up most of their tricks in the first dozen minutes or so. Still, there's definitely potential here, and for those hardcore purists who are waiting for Victory to return to form, this might just be the release to reaffirm your belief in the label.

A Fortress

A Fortress