NorCal post-hardcore outfit Down Again dropped their debut album, entitled The Devil Is A Gentleman, just moments ago.
The album channels the inner thoughts and emotions of guitarist/vocalist Lenny Costa, as he dealt with the pain of watching the people close to him slowly fade away. Topics include depression, hope, loss of faith, and human interactions, with lyrics co-written by Lucas Garcia.
According to the band, “We have an incredible synergy amongst the three of us. This is the sort of thing that is a total trip to look back at, how a few friends can take a bunch of ideas, candid stories and put it all together in one full album to share.”
Made up of Alex Wechter (bass), Lucas Garcia (guitar, drums, keyboards), and Lenny Costa (vocals, guitar), the trio grew up together, skating, surfing, hiking, and attending concerts. Their influences include Underoath, Thrice, and Brand New.
Produced by Nick Loiacono, The Devil Is A Gentleman encompasses a baker’s dozen of tracks, starting off with “Unaware/Gunfight,” which opens on light strumming guitars topped by Costa’s hushed vocals. When the music ramps up to thrumming levels, Costa’s voice takes on harsh, melodic growling timbres chock-full of passion.
Highlights include “Burning The Candle At Both Ends, Pt. 2,” a personal favorite because of the low-slung yet potent shimmering pulse of the verses, followed by a crunching bridge leading to a ferocious chorus. “Dead Rose” travels on gleaming, almost elegant guitars, and then expands to a deliciously polished melody. Costa’s voice on this track is excellent, smooth, soft, and expressive.
“Sinking Ship” combines diamond-like guitar colors with thumping drums on the intro, and then segues into a powerfully surging soundscape capped by Costa’s rasping, passionate tones. “Demons” is another superb track, ebbing and flowing with Slipknot-like sonic stages.
“Lighthouse At Sea” blends tinctures of psychedelic prog-rock with muscular metalcore elements, generating a moody, hefty song with velvety melodic harmonies. The final track, “Actions & Their Consequences,” delivers grand sonic muscle, incandescent vocals, and stellar drumming from Garcia, whose work in the pocket gives this track oomph.
With this album, Down Again has produced one of the year’s best and most innovative post-hardcore collections of this year. This album is definitely a winner.