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Downtown Association – Born EnRaged

Downtown Association
Born EnRaged
by Santiago Puyol at 20 April 2019, 4:30 PM

DOWNTOWN ASSOCIATION are a Hard Rock band, coming all the way from Greece. Now, that’s certainly not the first place your mind goes when thinking of Hard Rock but these guys rock a lot. “Born EnRaged” is their second album, and it seems the band had a lot of fun recording this.

In a way, this is a very by-the-books album, but that’s not really a bad thing. DOWNTOWN ASSOCIATION play to their strengths and that familiar Hard Rock sound with a Heavy Metal edge suits them really well.

Opener “Down at the Bottom” gets things going with deep basslines and borderline Metal riffs. Its chorus pays homage to the days of AC/DC glory while a nasty wah-wah drenched solo shreds along. “Nightfalls” follows in, with a sound closer to the early sound of GUNS N’ROSES, think the riff-driven stuff from “Appetite for Destruction”. Dean Mess may not sound like Axl Rose at all, but their vocals definitely share a sneery quality.

“The Rocket Song” brings even more heaviness to the table, its funky bassline working around the rhythimic riffing. Certainly lives up to its name, constantly moving. It’s a very energetic track, with a chorus that feels a little countrified but in a good way. Things slow down a little for the textured intro of “This Letter”, almost getting into Alternative Rock territory for a few seconds. The song eventually moves into 70’s-era AEROSMITH-inspired riffing.

After a crazy, drum-heavy intro, “Washed Out in Town” gets intro ZZ TOP territory with its bluesy, nasty riffs atop a (borderline) Disco beat - and a groovy bassline completes the picture. There’s a crunchy guitar tone throughout the whole song, mostly noticeable on the chorus and the terrific solos.

The aptly titled “Bonzo Wannabe” is nothing more than what its title implies; some solo drumming that serves as an intro for proper track “The Beast of Unspoken Dreams”, obviously pays homage to LED ZEPPELIN. The beat screams John Bonham and the guitars bring “Immigrant Song” almost immediately. An instrumental breakdown right before the epic guitar solo makes the influence even more clear.

The album veers toward a larger sound with the final two tracks, “Where I Belong” and “Until the Morning”. “Where I Belong” has an intense, heavy intro, and manages to incorporate some Southern Rock influences – which are especially noticeable in the vocal harmonies towards the end. The bass is very upfront in the mix here, with some interesting melodic lines.

Meanwhile, “Until the Morning” brings some Metal influences to the table, mainly “Black Album”METALLICA and even early IRON MAIDEN, with some nice bass drum work giving an extra edge. The drumming is great during this song, as are the soft, harmonized sections that bleed some LYNYRD SKYNYRD vibes in there. The solos are clearly Metal-inspired and there is even a couple of breakdowns here and there.

“Sevenfold Collision” and “Rise of the Fallen”do not add much to the record, but are still fun tracks to listen to, that manage to rise beyond mere filler.

All in all, “Born EnRaged” is an entertaining and easy to listen to record that does exactly what it sets to. The production brings the band to life, letting every member take the spotlight when needed, building a truly cohesive sound. It’s quite clear there is a lot of chemistry among the band. I thoroughly enjoyed what I heard.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Down at the Bottom
2. Nightfalls
3. The Rocket Song
4. This Letter
5. Washed Out in Town
6. Bonzo Wannabe
7. The Beast of Unspoken Dreams
8. Sevenfold Collision
9. Rise of the Fallen
10. Where I Belong
11. Until the Morning
Lineup:
Dean Mess – Vocals
George Matikas – Guitar
Tasos D. – Drums
Nik Danielos – Bass
Record Label: Independent
     


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