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Downtown Singapore - Don't Let Your Guard... Album Cover

Downtown Singapore - Don't Let Your Guard...

Reviewed by
8.6
Downtown Singapore - Don't Let You Guard Down
Release Date: March 07, 2006
Record Label: DCide Records


I do not consider myself easily impressed anymore. After all the mediocre bands and par-value albums I have checked out, I guess you can say that I tend to get a little bored with the lack of remarkable music. That said, occasionally, a band will sneak through the cracks with a release that makes you question, "Where the hell has this band been? Why didn't I check them out sooner?" Downtown Singapore is such a band, and with their debut full-length, Don't Let Your Guard Down, they have swiftly cemented themselves as a fixture on my radar screen of up-and-coming artists.

Don't Let Your Guard Down starts off on the right foot, offering up plenty of adrenalin and focus in its musicianship, but surely the first thing that will ensnare the listener's attention is Jerry Scott's phenomenal vocal ability. A veritable Anthony-Green-in-training, Scott flexes his cords with admirable effort, hitting the highest high notes, but still making it all sound easy and routine. On the record's second track, "What She Said," Scott boldly showcases his control and range, effortlessly slipping from his energetic blare into a cool falsetto, and transitioning out again. The effect is a welcome one, and serves to underline the song's musical components, which artfully combine a proggy angularity with the scale of arena-rock. The cut is plenty strong on its own, and perfect in the way it leads into the album's highlight, "Choirboy." Featuring Larry Soliman of My American Heart backing and adding his own soaring belt to the mix, this song is an instant classic with the tag-team's stellar melodies and the tangible urgency with which they present their hook. Toss in guitar lines that alternate between crunchy fuzz and distorted precision, and Matt Thorsen's twitchy percussion that is some of the best this side of Saosin's Translating the Name EP, and all the right ingredients are certainly in the stew.

As well, for as skillfully as these boys execute their anthemic rock numbers, do not think for a second that they are a one-trick pony. When Downtown Singapore chooses to slow it down a bit, neither their exhibition of musical skill nor the continuity of the album is sacrificed. The title track is a sweeping rock epic, chock full of wandering strings and subtle guitar accents layered under Scott's wonderful croon (albeit with slightly contrived lyrics). Similarly, but on a sexier vibe, "Teresa Rizal" interweaves progressive guitar accents and sporadic drum notes over a silky smooth electronic floor, all while Scott's hypnotic, relaxed falsetto recalls shades of Aaron Marsh's best. As impressive as these guys are rocking out, it is just as impressive how deftly they can strip away the edge. Through the entire album, Matt Squire's production is damn near perfect, tossing in thunderous bass rolls, giving the guitars just the right amount of oomph, and cleaning up Scott's wail to center it directly in the forefront. It all works so well, and complements the band's natural abilities brilliantly.

In the end, Downtown Singapore has astonished me, and will likely do the same for any fan of similar artists. I highly recommend you check out this album - it is one of 2006's best thus far.

Recommended if you like: Circa Survive, A Thorn for Every Heart, Saosin, My American Heart
This review is a user submitted review from Steve Henderson. You can see all of Steve Henderson's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 45
04:58 PM on 06/19/06
#2
Cue the Sun
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Good review. I think I'm gonna check them out now
05:00 PM on 06/19/06
#3
Steve Henderson
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Originally Posted by Cue the Sun
Good review. I think I'm gonna check them out now
Thanks - you will not regret it. Listen to "Choirboy."
05:15 PM on 06/19/06
#4
Erkin
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nice review indeed gonna have a listen myself :)
05:29 PM on 06/19/06
#5
Chriz2z
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I haven't found it in stores yet, but I must admit I haven't been trying to hard. I really liked their demos. Maybe I'll looker harder now.
05:36 PM on 06/19/06
#6
Steve Henderson
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Originally Posted by Erkin
nice review indeed gonna have a listen myself :)
Tell me what you think!
06:09 PM on 06/19/06
#7
calciumwaste
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i bought this album after becoming obsessed with "What She Said," and it did not disappoint. i guess that would be expected though considering that the similar artists are 4 of my 6 favorite bands.
06:15 PM on 06/19/06
#8
Steve Henderson
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Originally Posted by calciumwaste
i bought this album after becoming obsessed with "What She Said," and it did not disappoint. i guess that would be expected though considering that the similar artists are 4 of my 6 favorite bands.
Same here...I am surprised how good the whole thing is.
06:39 PM on 06/19/06
#9
Teddythegr8one
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great album. i live about 20 mins from waldorf (hometown) i used to not be too into them but i like the cd. its been out for a while though and you wont find it in many stores.. just go to a show if they are near or go online and order it.
07:27 PM on 06/19/06
agloriousruin
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Totally nailed this one, I think. I got the Anthony Green vibe from the vocals right away.

Actually, my first thought was something more along the lines of "Man, this guy sounds like the vocal :txtlove:-child of Anthony Green and Matt Pryor...but totally in a good way!"
07:30 PM on 06/19/06
Steve Henderson
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Originally Posted by christianemokid
Totally nailed this one, I think. I got the Anthony Green vibe from the vocals right away.

Actually, my first thought was something more along the lines of "Man, this guy sounds like the vocal :txtlove:-child of Anthony Green and Matt Pryor...but totally in a good way!"
Good to hear...sounds like we are on the same page.
07:45 PM on 06/19/06
agloriousruin
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Originally Posted by Steve Henderson
Good to hear...sounds like we are on the same page.

And the punknews kid who is hearing Thursday has clearly never heard a single Thursday song in his life...so you tell him!

07:50 PM on 06/19/06
Steve Henderson
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Originally Posted by christianemokid
And the punknews kid who is hearing Thursday has clearly never heard a single Thursday song in his life...so you tell him!

Shit, his review was expertly written, I just don't hear the Thursday in there at all...


(pwn?)
07:56 PM on 06/19/06
agloriousruin
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Originally Posted by Steve Henderson
Shit, his review was expertly written, I just don't hear the Thursday in there at all...


(pwn?)


:pwned:


But seriously, its good that you give him credit, but I've read ingredients on cereal boxes longer than that thing. How on earth can you flesh out an entire album in such a short amount of time...especially without giving any real, musically based reasons as to why you don't like it?

Just my opinion, but I think you've got it far better than he did...:bigwink:
08:00 PM on 06/19/06
Steve Henderson
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Originally Posted by christianemokid
:pwned:


But seriously, its good that you give him credit, but I've read ingredients on cereal boxes longer than that thing. How on earth can you flesh out an entire album in such a short amount of time...especially without giving any real, musically based reasons as to why you don't like it?

Just my opinion, but I think you've got it far better than he did...:bigwink:
Thanks, man. I agree that he didn't give much reasoning for not liking the album, but I have been there before. If you are not feeling a band at all, it gets hard to flesh out a review, sometimes.

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