Review: Down to Nothing “Splitting Headache” CD

Here's the long awaited the second "full-length" offering (sort of, it's only like 17 minutes long and the last three songs are from their split with Kids Like Us) from Down to Nothing, offering up 11 more tracks of their brand of heavy yet energetic straightedge hardcore with a little bit of a sense of humor to balance out the pissed off attitude. "Us v. Each Other" is among the faster and more traditionally oriented hardcore tracks; "I Can't Believe My Yes" drops one of the most mosh worthy breakdowns herein; "Smash It" is a succinct minute-long anthem that should be a huge crowd pleaser with straightedge listeners; and then you've got even shorter tracks like "Skate & Annoy Vol. 2.0 (Skate or Die)", which is an 11-second blast of old school fury. Elsewhere, "Unbreakable" was originally written by the sadly now defunct Murder Weapon (which featured members of Down to Nothing) and includes guest vocals from former Murder Weapon frontman Scott Eckert, thus making for one of the heavier and more in your face attacks of the disc; and closer "I'm So Lucky" is actually one of the band's best tracks to date - a little more involved in terms of using a few dissonant chord phrasings and picking patterns, and chock full of killer riffs and memorable transitions that all pay off big time. The recording's not bad at all. I wouldn't mind it were the guitars a little thicker/warmer as there's a little bit of a compressed sheen happening there, but the vocals sound fuckin' great and the rhythm section is nice and dense, thus filling in some of the gaps left by the guitars. Certain elements of the layout are a little jumbled and inconsistent, but the illustrations are cool and definitely have an atypical look for this brand of hardcore, and that's cool. Occasionally the lyrics are so specific to the band and their friends that they might isolate some listeners, but for the past it's your usual content dealing with shit that pisses you off, or just fuckin' around having fun, etc. These guys never disappoint, but I have to say that in the end this record feels a little too short on new material and still leaves me hankering for more. But that's not such a bad place to be, so fans of "Save it for the Birds" should definitely look into this one...

Running time - 17:00 (approximately), Tracks: 11
[Notable tracks: Us v. Each Other, Smash It, Burn III, Unbreakable, I'm So Lucky]
Thorp Records -