Downtown Singapore - Don't Let Your Guard Down (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Downtown Singapore

Don't Let Your Guard Down (2006)


Downtown Singapore show a slight improvement on their debut full-length, Don't Let Your Guard Down, but their sound -- one that seems to either suggest Matt Pryor fronting a second-rate Thursday or otherwise iffy Get Up Kids tributing -- is one that could still benefit from some retooling.

You can tell from the outset in "The Charm Beneath Tradition" that Matt Squire (the Receiving End of Sirens, Thin Dark Line) is at the helms here. As per his resumé lately, what Squire presents is a band drawing heavily from the vein connecting second and third wave emo, with long-winded songwriting clouded worse by heavily low in the mix, distorted guitars causing a nearly atmospheric placesetting; this makes for a promising yet derivative and sometimes/often boring record whose influences are obvious but awkwardly implemented. Weak synths (see the title track) don't help any.

I could heave praise at the band simply for not screaming, but that's a choice many acts are seemingly starting to wise up on as of late (for the most part, anyway).

47 minutes of music, and I can't conjure up much in words for Don't Let Your Guard Down. I do remain in thought the band has taken notice to correct some of the faults from last year's Understanding a Guarantee EP; it's just not to the point where they're outweighed by the positives yet.

What She Said
Choir Boy