Shutdown – Something to Prove EP

Shutdown
Something to Prove EP

There’s hardcore, and then there’s New York City hardcore. Shutdown are all about the latter. New York City may not be where hardcore originated, but it might as well have been. While other bands have tread all over the style of extremely aggressive rock, there are a few bands out there that still make the music like it was meant to be made. Shutdown are a good example. Combining the best elements of punk, metal, and rock, Shutdown play ultra-aggressive New York City hardcore with confrontational lyrics in the vein of Earth Crisis or similar bands. I defy anyone to listen to this album at high volume and not thrash violently before your ears start to pleasantly bleed. Ah, gotta love that.

So, four songs on this 7-inch recorded to CD EP, but three if you don’t count the instrumental introduction. Like the best hardcore albums that I can think of, the songs run together, merging effortlessly from one to the other without sounding exactly alike. “The Judged” is driving and aggressive, lyrics shouted with intensity, guitar pounding yet not a soundless barrage. And the end, with multiple vocals is a great touch. But I prefer the power of “Don’t Look Back,” starting off with a great “raaaaaaa.” This song reminds you what hardcore is all about, the drums fast and furious, the vocals shouted with fantastic backing vocals, at times shouted along and at times just tunefully “ohhhh ohhhh.” The drums really break it down at the end, too, breaking from that all-too-easy punk/core beat into a more complex rhythm. And “No Compromise” continues along the same vein, with a bit more complexity to the music, especially when it practically shuts down and the metal riffs kick in, the lyrics suddenly screamed in a guttural sound, getting heavier and even more aggressive, showing the metal side of hardcore.

Shutdown apparently has something to prove on their new EP. To me, it sounds like they’re proving that the best bands can still play New York City hardcore at its finest. They’re not throwing anything unexpected into these songs. They’re not getting overly complex or screaming incoherently or leaning too much toward punk or metal. They’re just playing the style of aggressive, powerful, intense rock that they prove they can do so well.