Must Hear Music
Reviews Archives
Bargain Basement
Music DVD
Send Us Mail
Contact Us

Downtown Singapore
Don't Let Your Guard Down
DCide Records

For 40 seconds, compressed trip-hop sounds leave one wondering where Downtown Singapore's Don't Let Your Guard Down is heading. Then comes the answer: the well-trodden ground of emo/pop-punk, the kind of turf where choruses of "let us burn together" are par for the course. To be fair, this kind of material can be done much, much worse than Downtown Singapore does it; with an editor to trim their songs from an average four-minute running length to around two and a half, these songs could prove quite punchy. As it is, they inevitably make their points and drag them out a bit past the expiration date.

"Choir Boy" sounds like a strange synthesis of 1998-era Get-Up Kids (with its "can't wait for disaster/My heart can't beat any faster" chorus) and the cheesy anthemic rush of Journey. It's got an undeniable pull, but again, it overstays its welcome. "Pose Up" offers a decent guitar riff but suffers from lyrical vapidity, while the later "Toy Soldiers and Hand Grenades" ends on a nice choral note. Closer "Your Song" is not the expected Elton John song, which makes it a thankful departure from the genre's tired tendency to whip out corny covers. Otherwise, most of the songs blur into a same-sounding haze.

Every now and then the band makes its formulaic sound work for it; on "Clean Getaway" singer Jerry Scott injects enough affectless earnestness into the line "every warning you have given me lasts forever" to give it an emotional resonance the rest of the album lacks. For the most part, though, this sounds like an application for the Warped Tour. It just about makes the grade on that front, but one can only wish bands would aim a bit higher, or at least in a more interesting direction.

-Whit Strub

Track listing:
1. The Charm Beneath Tradition
2. What She Said
3. Choir Boy
4. Gator Sweat
5. Don't Let Your Guard Down
6. Pose Up
7. Teresa Rizal
8. Clean Getaway
9. Broken Arcade
10. People for the Ethical Treatment of Artists
11. Toy Soldiers and Hand Grenades
12. Your Song

Check out more reviews

Talk Back
e-mail the chief

Like this article?
e-mail it to a friend!


Mike Doughty

none now

South By Southwest 2014
David DeVoe

South By Southwest 2013
David DeVoe

Red Hook Music Festival
George Dow

SXSW 2012
David DeVoe

Our Favorite Records 2011
Hybrid Staff

Rachel Fredrickson

Rachel Fredrickson

Warped Tour 2011
Rachel Fredrickson

Eddie Spaghetti
Melissa Skrbic-Huss

Murder By Death
Mike DeLeo

Mike Doughty
Boulder, CO

Denver, CO

Imagine Dragons
Denver, CO

Cambridge, MA

Young Magic
Denver, CO

Warped Tour 2012
Denver, CO

Denver, CO

Mike Doughty
Denver, CO

Kansas City, MO

Other Lives
Lawrence, KS

Los Campesinos
Boston, MA

The Civil Wars
Lawrence, KS

Ha Ha Tonka
Lawrence, KS

Lawrence, KS

hybridmagazine.com is updated daily except when it isn't.
New film reviews are posted every week like faulty clockwork.
Wanna write for hybrid? Send us an e-mail.
© 1996-2009 [noun] digital media. All rights reserved worldwide. All content on hybridmagazine.com and levelheadedmusic.com is the intellectual property of Hybrid Magazine and its respective creators. No part of hybridmagazine.com or levelheadedmusic.com may be reproduced in any format without expressed written permission. For complete masthead and physical mailing address, Click Here.