The Take Down – ‘All Aboard The Sinking Ship’.
Cover photo credit: Matthew Sutton – Click Here.
Ashford in Kent is the base of a Pop-Punk band by the name of The Take Down. A band with a penchant for the past and the indispensable household names that made the genre.
Alkaline Trio? Bayside? Teenage Bottlerocket? Sum 41? vintage Green Day? These are all names The Take Down cite as primary influences and idols and with that, they set themselves a tough act to follow with the expectations high on their own rendition of golden years of the Pop-Punk genre.
The band open with 90’s Punk through and through with the genres Skate Punk affiliation setting the pace in ‘Daisy Dread’ with a likeness to those classic Strung Out albums before the band discovered Metal riffs.
‘Three Minutes’ continues this melancholic, moody and darker Pop-Punk sound. This second track very much has the perfect Pop-Punk chorus breaking up the harder chord progressions and angsty drive the band push for. ‘Three Minutes’ could have been on one of those fateful video compilations that sent many of us to Alternative music in the first place.
‘Sublime’ attempts to break the pace with a more Alternative Rock-led sound that can’t keep away from the pace for too long, which in the end is essentially how it redeems itself. The slower parts sadly drag and feel incomplete with the sporadic mid-tempo parts and everything past 3:06 acting as a saving grace.
The almost tin-like rhythm section of ‘Midnight Bats’ carries a harder-grit quite welcome as it contrasts the melodic nature of the band thus far. ‘Midnight Bats’ is one of the Punk-Rock songs of the release and very much a return to form after ‘Sublime’; even if it is about vampires.
The Take Down could very much be compared to the Sum 41 of Does This Look Infected? or Chuck, where the Canadian veterans began to edge away from Pop-Punk and onward to harder Punk, Hardcore and Thrash.
‘Slave To Substance’ is the anti-drug anthem while ‘Better Days’ is the epitome of the 90’s Skate/Pop-Punk crossover and could have easily been on any of Strung Out‘s first three records, with its guitar work also reminiscent of Strung Out axeman Rob Ramos and his other project, Implants.
‘Falling Down’ is the fist-in-the-air Pop-Punk anthem that ‘Sublime’ was trying to be while ‘Never Follow’ continues this anthemic streak with an anglicised Pulley-esque track that attempts to find the balance between the harder and more pop-led elements of the band’s sound to varying levels of success.
I recommended looking at the inspiration behind these songs on the larger lyrics tab on bandcamp while you investigate this nostalgic band as the reasons have some interesting variance. ‘Tragic Lullaby’ sees the vocals more reserved and natural, as well as less focussed on over-doing the melodic staple of the genre and it works quite well.
For a self-labelled Pop-Punk band The Take Down very much have their sights on more of the “Punk” than the “Pop” generally speaking and it does nothing but leave you to wonder what they will produce as a follow-up to a debut that despite the sometimes hazy recording and mixing, is an excellent first effort.
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