Down for the Count Ė Battle Royale
Record Label: Negative Progression
Release Date: January 13th 2009
Every so often, Iíll come across a band that Iíve vaguely heard of, yet decided to look over. Now defunct pop-rock / pop-punk band Down for the Count is one of those bands; theyíve been broken up for a few years, but on a recent trip to a Hot Topic about an hour away, I discovered a few copies of last EP Battle Royale in the clearance section. Iíve seen this EP on iTunes before in the ďrecommended for youĒ section of the store, and I always looked over it. I donít know why, but for whatever reason, this band has always flew past me. My curiosity got the best of me, and it was mainly due to the sticker on the CD case that read that the band sounds like Paramore and Valencia, among others. For that, I was very excited, because those two bands are a couple of my favorites. Paramore also just released a new album last month, so that was another plus for me to check this record out. What I found was a very straightforward, yet rather generic pop-rock and pop-punk EP. In all honesty, this EP definitely sounds like something Iíd hear in 2009 when the EP was released. Being dated isnít necessarily a bad thing, but it definitely has that vibe all over it. Not to mention, being generic is not a bad thing, either; a band doesnít necessarily have to be unique and groundbreaking to be enjoyable. Some people prefer more unique artists and bands, while others just donít care. Itís certainly possible to be generic, yet enjoyable. Down for the Count definitely falls into that category, but with that being said, letís go into battle, and dive into this EP, shall we?
The EP starts off with ďMake My Day,Ē and this immediately begins the EP off on a nice note; it starts off slowly, but then builds up a few seconds later into some very impressive pop-rock instrumentation. Finally, vocalist Nathan Sirotta kicks in, and while his voice isnít very unique, it fits the music nicely. The main aspect of this EP that makes it a bit better than most bands in the genre is just the impressive and interesting instrumentation. It manages to stay engaging, and the first starts off the whole EP nicely. The only downside is that, aside from that instrumentation, everything else about this band is rather generic. Thatís not a bad thing, like I mentioned earlier, but thankfully this EP is only six songs, because it can get rather dull after awhile. This EP manages to keep that from happening by the end, but most of these songs do sound rather similar, so in the end, only a few songs are insanely memorable. The rest are rather memorable, but as a whole, not necessarily individually. Third track ďI Call the Shots, You Call the CabĒ is one of the tracks, aside from the first track, that is quite memorable. This is one of the catchier songs on the record; while this record does lean towards pop-punk, itís more rooted in pop-rock, keeping it very sugary sweet. Not that itís a bad thing, because itís not, but it stays pretty safe, with the exception of a few guitar riffs here and there that actually are interesting.
As the EP goes on, itís more or less of the same thing, so itís a good day to be a pop-rock fan, basically. There are only three more songs, however, so itís not terrible. Fifth track ďWrite This DownĒ is another track that I mentioned thatís rather memorable. Itís got a nice hook, and really moves the song forward. Last track ďPaperback NoveltyĒ does the same thing, really, but by this point, the record does get a bit dull, because itís been the same kind of song throughout. Despite that, and the fact that itís rather generic, itís still a good EP. Itís not the best Iíve ever heard, but not awful, either. Kind of right in the middle for me. All in all, if youíre a pop-rock fan, this should tickle your fancy nicely. It doesnít really do anything different, but thatís fine, because not all music needs to be groundbreaking and unique.