by Mark Allen
– Senior Columnist –
With some rather interesting percussion decisions, this Texan trio packs enough hard rock huff ‘n’ puff to blow your house down. Their approach almost sounds gimmicky on paper: take the powerful riffs of modern hard rock, splice it with the staccato singing and chugging guitars of ‘90s nu-metal, mix in an even balance of rough vocals and slick harmonies, and then top it all off with some very impressive drum work. But what sounds like overkill in concept actually works strangely well when given sonic incarnation.
The band’s somewhat unique style could prove appealing; it is derivative enough of today’s modern metal to draw the commercial crowd, yet does things differently enough to grab the ears of those looking for something a bit more avante garde. With their compelling rhythms, odd-but-not-unwelcome fusions, and willingness to go with their gut when making songwriting choices rather than follow rigid formulas, you could almost call these guys progressive. Just don’t be thinking Fates Warning or Queensryche…
The band’s overall sound is heavier than a truck full of elephant testicles; when the massive guitars hit, they leave bruises like you just went thirteen rounds with a pissed off rhino. The drums are bestial in their fury, hammering at your senses like body blows. The vocals are rough and aggressive, though the band uses melodic harmonies in the choruses to create a viciously sweet contradiction. Sure, you have heard this stuff before…but probably not pieced together quite like this. Downfall 2012 are neither trend-chasers nor trend-setters; they are simply themselves.
This being just a 5-song EP, the band has to make you a believer in a short amount of time and they do so by cranking it up hard and heavy from start to finish. They open with a bad-ass head-banger in “Face to Face,” which should generate instant mosh-pits when played; this sucker slams you against the wall, makes you its bitch, then stomps away leaving you wanting more. “Never Sell a Lie” whiplashes between Beastie Boys rap-rock and pummeling heaviness while a gang vocal bridge builds to a hardcore chorus. And while conventional wisdom insists that you put your best foot forward first, Downfall 2012 dared to save their best song for last; “Family Fortune” is a full-throttle hard rocker in the Mudvayne/Drowning Pool vein with a savagely good hook, relentless energy, and a super-catchy chorus. Release this as a single, get it airtime on Sirius’ Octane, and watch it chomp its way up the charts like a hungry shark tearing through a school of tuna.
Maybe these guys are not yet good enough to make everyone fall down and worship at their feet, but songs like “Face to Face” and “Family Fortune” prove the band can craft a cool hook. If they can release a whole album full of tracks of that caliber, they’ve got a decent shot at making some noise in the modern hard rock/metal market. It’s a dog eat dog world out there, but Downfall 2012 sport enough tooth and claw to still be standing when the blood and fur stop flying.
Genre: Modern Hard Rock, Nu-Metal
Danny Gil (vocals, guitar)
Boo Rogers (bass, vocals)
Casey Brown (drums, vocals)
1. Face To Face
3. Toy Box
4. Never Sell a Lie
5. Family Fortune
Hardrock Haven rating: 7/10