Down to Nothing - The Most (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Down to Nothing

The Most (2007)


Despite the surprise excitement of live Minor Threat covers, Down to Nothing had never particularly impressed me, the barrage of pointless mosh/two-step parts likely being the main culprit. With their proper Revelation debut, The Most, there's a good chance there'll be more than one person claiming fan conversion, as the band outfit their modern hardcore stylings with a more melodic, slightly less burly setup with the occasional nod to late `80s hardcore touchstones. Despite DTN managing to overall retain their identity, it's still an alternate approach for the band that better calls to mind Bane channeling Turning Point, not unlike the band's newer, more heartfelt peers in Have Heart and Sinking Ships (hardly a shock sonically at least, considering the last full-length efforts from HH and DTN were recorded by Jim Siegel).

The 23-minute blast offers a number of engaging moments and surprisingly creative points. Opener "Along for the Ride" packs a little musical muscle without coming off overbearing, while gang vocals and wonderfully crafted stop-starts in the middle of "My Disguise" punctuate the song perfectly. "Serve and Neglect" is one of The Most's best, with some of the band's trademark, playful `80s skate riffs and quirky line delivery from vocalist David Wood. But "Well Deserved" might be the best, chock full of instrument change-ups and a variety of tempos, and Wood sounding particularly condemning when he spits "you fit the part, you think you got some image / and you expect everyone just to give in / no one's buying." "Up River" is "Well Deserved"'s main competitor, as it's unusually emotional for the act, sincerely warning against the evils of addiction and abuse as evidenced by the downfall of friends, with the band even throwing in a nostalgic "smash it!"

Sure, you've got your breakdowns and dance cues, but unlike past efforts they're never overextended and used considerably sparsely in comparison. Through this careful, more economical employment, they're entirely more effective (see: the end of "Serve and Neglect") and make their mark hard.

DTN tend to lay on the cheese a bit with their thoughts and offerings on their straight-edge bearings and hardcore lifestyle ("fight the pain, don't give in / be stronger, fight it, overcome it" / "never learned from your past mistakes / no sympathy when you fucking wake"), but it's usually pretty tolerable, if not even well-written sometimes.

At least in this reviewer's opinion, Down to Nothing has produced their finest effort to date with The Most. Revelation Records continues to parade out the standout releases in today's hardcore scene, and Down to Nothing's revelatory progress is no exception.

My Disguise
Down on You