The Fully Down - No Fate... But What We Make For Ourselves (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Fully Down

No Fate... But What We Make For Ourselves (2004)

Pop Culture

I'm not really sure what to call it- that stuff bands like Thrice play- is it post hardcore, melodic hardcore, emo-metal-core, or the often bashed label screamo? Whatever it is, they love their guitars. The Fully Down is a six piece from Ottawa, Canada, who love their guitars so much that they have three of them. And while they do love their guitars, it sounds like they love their hooks just as much, like a pop-punk band trapped in a hardcore band's body. While Thrice has flirtations with melody quite often, this band is fully committed. There is not a single scream on this disc.

The Fully Down formed in 1999 but this is their first proper album. The band did not even play a show until 2003, which seems weird but I also respect, because it seems a lot of new local bands rush into shows and recording before they are tight or refined. But 4 years is a hella long time; at least they have an incredibly tight disc to show for it. Although it is tight, a drawback would be the short length, barely a full-length with only 7 proper tracks, one 30 second song I'd call more of an intro, and a few wasted minutes on the semi-secret ninth track. You'd think with so much time in the works their album would have been super long. Well, let's talk about what is here.

The lack of screaming is actually quite refreshing for this style. The music rocks hard, but then the vocals catch you with the hook and bring you back for another listen. The melodies and harmonies, as well as the singers voice, reminded me of No Use for a Name, so picture Thrice with Tony Sly singing. Some simple tunes are allowed room to be even poppier, like "Best of Me" which reminds me of New Found Glory and "December" which could a Simple Plan power ballad. Sure, you may not care for those bands (or maybe you do) but The Fully Down still add a technical flair to keep your attention. The band's three shredders can throw pinch-harmonics in mid-riff, like in the "The Roads Between Us", which sounds like Coheed without the Rush vocals. The best and most technical track would be the title track, an impressive but kind of disjointed song with constant stops and starts and some odd meters; it seems to be several short songs in one, but all impressive pieces nonetheless.

Of course the guitars are the highlight in music like this, but the rhythm section impressed me as well. The bass and bass drum sync-up here some great moments, like in the verses of "December" where the guitars are sparse the rhythm section keeps things driving and interesting. The only downside is that they don't do it enough. Another great section is in "Love it All" during the second part of the breakdown section, where the pounding rhythm is felt underneath while the guitars do their thing overtop. Actually, one of the guitars even joins the rhythm section, a luxury afforded by having three guitars.

Yes, it's another emo-metal-whatever-core band, but at least The Fully Down took the time to do it right, and take out the way overdone screaming and put in some hooks. If you are a fan of the (insert name here) genre, check out No Fate… , this band has got their act together and I bet they will be going places, especially with the marketability of this style these days.