||09/08/10 05:04 AM
Weekly Nostalgia: Don't Look Down
As J-14 Magazine prepares to pimp Runner Runner in all future issues, let us take a moment to look back on better times. Namely, Don't Look Down
, a pop-punk band who hailed from New Jersey during a time when v-neck shirts, pesky haircuts and a wide array of spectacularly unusual eyeglass wear was nowhere in sight; it was Midtown, The Early November and Senses Fail. Simpler times, really. Don't Look Down got their start making their way through basement shows and cover sets in the local area. The band soon found themselves attached to a small label and released their debut album, Start the Show
, in 2002. Approaching pop-punk in a comparable style to MxPx and fellow upstarts (at the time) Simple Plan, it was fast enough to catch on with skate kids yet simple enough for the emo enthusiasts. Gaining a steady following, the band shifted gears and signed to Nitro Records in 2003, where they would release their much-ballyhooed EP, Five
. Things were beginning to blossom, and the band showed a rapid growth in an incredibly short amount of time. Heck, by the time their next LP, The Fear in Love
, was released... it was hardly the same band at all. They had practically dropped the preppy pop-punk sound and adopted an ultimately darker and aggressive tone. However, before Don't Look Down could show the world their full potential... the band had broken up. To this day, there was no formal "sayonara" or note left on the kitchen counter - things apparently just kind of disintegrated. Even after spreading a healthy layer of buzz over the Warped Tour crowd in 2004, the band never got to ignite the flame that had sparked fans' interests. Vocalist Ryan Ogren would later join Over It as a guitarist and now leads the unfortunate pop band Runner Runner, further highlighting the tragedy that is Don't Look Down's failure to hit it big.