Finding a band which stands out with a truly individual sound within the melodic punk landscape has not proven to be so easy these past years. There have been many outfits which have still impressed but finding that specific individuality is less frequent but now we have British outfit Downcast and the release of their self-titled debut EP. It is n introduction which more than suggests that the band with their emo spiced pop punk has the potential to be something different and such the memorable moments within this their introduction we could say they are already well on the way to realising that promise.
Taking inspirations from the likes of The Wonder Years, Alkaline Trio, ROAM, and Neck Deep, Downcast emerged last year, initially concentrating on writing this debut and honing the sound which flourishes within it. Recorded with producer Ian Sadler (Anavae, ROAM), it would be fair to say that the release made a good if not immediately sizeable impact on ears and thoughts. Yet there was something which easily lured us back more than once or twice and with every play has blossomed into a very enjoyable and impressively potent, potential loaded proposition.
It has moments which simply got under the skin and aroused the passions alongside other instances where expectations were fed even if enjoyment still courted those times. The EP opens with Anthurium and potent guitar bait which lures attention into a waiting tide of pop punk tenacity which takes little time to erupt. Settling down into a robust and busily infectious stroll, the track springs melodic hooks and vocal prowess with ease. Surprises are maybe less open yet the song has a tenacious catchiness and open enterprise which takes charge. With firm often heady rhythms bearing down on the senses, it is a strong and magnetic start to the release swiftly backed by the following Sombre.
The acoustic heart of the second track quickly casts a different breath within the EP, guitar melody and vocal unity reinforced as a potent part of the band’s sound. Short but a full captivation, it offers plenty of reasons for expectations of that real originality emerging ahead as too its successor, Window Seat. It is another song which took and needed time to fully persuade but once hitting its stride after a relatively gentle entrance, it blossoms into a rousing roar nurtured through a strong undercurrent of imagination and boisterousness.
The EP is completed by the pair of 2013 and I’m Sorry. The first is the biggest highlight of the release; its instinctive hooks, spicy melodies, and vocal dexterity an infectious blend blending the familiar with the individual. The final track in turn provides another appetising offering if without finding the heights of its predecessors. From its solid if slightly underwhelming start the song builds crescendos of emotion and drama, flourishing with each before settling back down into that initial mercurial calm. In saying that, there is a captivation to the song which never stops nagging and we can only say enjoyment came with it.
Overall, the EP is a powerful foundation to spring from with potential and pleasure at its heart; Downcast a band it could be impossible to ignore ahead.
The Downcast EP is released January 11th.
Pete RingMaster 8/01/2019
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