Head Down - How It All Breaks Down (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Head Down

How It All Breaks Down (2010)

Pink Bomb

Head Down has been kicking around for a few years in Timmins, Ontario. While I can't vouch for their prior releases, I can say that How It All Breaks Down is just a confounding record.

There's some melodic punk influence here, with both the melodic and technical aspects of certain skatepunk factions playing a bit of a hand ("Move Ahead" helping justify this idea). But the vocals are way more in a nü-emo realm, with guitar work usually nodding to that style too. Remember the Fully Down? It's sort of like that, but instead of having merely fatigued singing, it's a brasher style that's jarring because of how whiny/yelpy it feels against what the band plays.

A jubilant feel infects tracks like "Go Slowly" and "Holding Out", but it's not enough to overcome this awkwardly poppy vibe that pervades all of this eight-song album. The latter of those two tracks get a bit vocal-heavy, and it feels like a little too much at times. It's not necessarily cringeworthy...nostril flare-inducing, maybe. "Stay Awake" integrates some bouncy, Easycore breakdown type stuff, and while it's not excessively cheesy, it's creeping towards that territory.

This could be a lot worse, but Head Down's newest here still feels stunted and confused.

Go Slowly
Holding Out
Stay Awake
Made This Right