Let Down - We're in This Alone (Cover Artwork)

Let Down

We're in This Alone (2008)

Six Feet Under

Imagine you're watching a hypothetical Larry Clark (director of "Kids," "Bully," "Wassup Rockers," etc.) film that follows several misled youth through the wasteland of suburbia. In the vein of a typical Clark movie, you watch a string of offensive and mindless acts before the film hits its climax at an overcrowded hardcore punk house show complete with deranged teens, fights and a general feeling of out-of-control youth. As some horrific act takes place that will change the course of the main characters' lives, there is a band playing in the background that matches the "scare the shit out of your parents" vibe of the movie. If this hypothetical movie were real, that band would be Let Down.

That's not to say that Let Down is a scary band, like the way Marilyn Manson or Alice Cooper worried parents and media in the past; rather, they are an unfiltered explosion of angst and rage. They display the kind of honest youthful anger that questions the world and refuses to conform (the kind that should be scarier to parents than blood and face paint). Their goals, if even defined, have little to do with music, but everything to do with just letting go and exuding unadulterated rage.

While I respect Let Down as a concept, it's not something I would choose to listen to on a daily basis. The music is adequately described by the vague phrase "hardcore punk," owing as much to early pioneers like Minor Threat and SSD as any modern band and is most sonically reminiscent of Ceremony's manic bursts.

Unlike many bands of this ilk, as musicians they are surprisingly competent. The drumming stands out and the band is tight, with decently well-written and well-performed music. That said, though, there is little variation, it is basically unrelenting and for most people, frontman Bob Wilson will be the make or break aspect of the band. His delivery is honest and raw but at its worst is reminiscent of an overly enthusiastic little dog at the dog park, yapping constantly regardless of the situation around him. While he is screaming his head off in untainted anger, his high-pitched voice is not the most ear-pleasing sound for 18 straight minutes.

Lyrically, you will most certainly enjoy Let Down's message if you are of the straight-edge persuastion. With lyrics like "drinking is bullshit," "that bottle's getting smashed in your fucking face" and "I sit around and count the days until you die in a drug-filled haze" (each line from a different song), Wilson certainly isn't beating around the bush.

To put it simply, Let Down is an uncompromisingly pissed off hardcore punk band. If this sounds good to you, then you will love this band. If this doesn't sound good to you, you should still give them a listen because they stand out strongly against the trend-hopping and rock star goals of many of their peers. While it may not be aesthetically pleasing to everyone, punk rock and hardcore need bands like this to continually remind those of us involved what attracted us to this slice of culture in the first place.