Down to Nothing - Unbreakable (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Down to Nothing

Unbreakable (2008)


Unbreakable collects nearly all of Down to Nothing's recorded material prior to 2007's The Most. That album was arguably the band's best release to date in terms of both recording and songwriting, and a listen here proves that. However, the compilation -- which collects 2003's Save It for the Birds and 2005's Splitting Headache, both released on Thorp Records and now out of print, onto one disc -- is still a solid listen and a handy way to scope the band's back catalog.

Save It for the Birds is up first, and it's a decent effort if not a bit pedestrian. The recording is a little flat and future releases would prove their promising nature, but this is still 11 slightly above average straight-edge hardcore tracks not unlike their Richmond peers/predecessors Count Me Out.

Revelation smartly offers a 28-second interlude between the albums here, which makes a lot of sense. For other hardcore compilations that include only two or three full-lengths on one disc (and no EPs), this isn't at all a bad idea.

Where the band really start to hit their stride is with Splitting Headache, even though it was actually a collaboration of tracks from a few recording sessions. But between their splits with On Thin Ice and Kids Like Us, a few other songs from previous releases and one new song (one of which is a cover of Murder Weapon's "Unbreakable"), the production is a little better and the band is simply writing better, more original songs. Things are much more dynamic here, with sometimes well-integrated breakdowns and a fair number of riff changeups. As a result, it's also much more compelling; the traits show in eventual fan favorites like "Go Ahead Wit Yo' Fake Ass," "I Can't Believe My Eyes," "Smash It" and "Home Sweet Home." Admittedly, the lyrics bear a much more unintentional goofiness than on Save It for the Birds ("Fuck off, nobody thinks you're cool / you fucking tool"), but it's so much fun the band'll have your local town drunkie floor-punching.

While you'll need the aforementioned Most, 2006's Higher Learning 7" and an upcoming split with 50 Lions to complete the discography, Unbreakable is as comprehensive of a compilation as you can get for a hardcore band that's been around for about eight years (a near-legacy by the genre's standards).