xLooking Forwardx - Down With The Ship

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ArtistxLooking Forwardx
Title: Down With The Ship
Label: Facedown Records
Release: 06/19/2012
Reviewer: Steven A. Cosand

Tracklisting:

  1. Intro
  2. The Fast and the Spurious
  3. Down With the Ship
  4. Here I Am
  5. Getting Back With Your ‘X’
  6. Put Up or Shut Up
  7. Demanding Answers
  8. Outro

I don’t want to know what hardcore would be like if it weren’t for bands like No For an Answer or Side by Side. Without “youth crew” or the straight edge movement within punk rock there would be no such as thing as xLooking Forwardx. The announcement for the release of this new EP entitled Down With The Ship through Facedown Records was accompanied by appearances at both Facedown Fest in CA and Stand Together Fest in Nashville this past April. This is the bands first release in 7 years and proves that they still know what they are doing.

Down With The Ship is cut short and sweet with 8 tracks clocking in just under 13 minutes. The longest tracks seem to hardly creep past the two minute mark. xLooking Forwardx keeps true to their own brand of straight edge hardcore as heard on their previous records. I immediately knew this by seeing the few tracks being sandwiched by both an “Intro” and “Outro”.

In my opinion the production of this EP has a bigger and bolder sort of tone when compared to The Path We Tread and What This Means To Me. xLooking Forwardx doesn’t seem to experiment too much with their sound and this is probably for the best. Even with the similar characteristics between this and their previous material, I do find that these songs give off less of an adolescent vibe. It might be the fact that they have grown older or have just matured as musicians and songwriters.

“The Fast and the Spurious” starts the record off with fast paced punk guitars and a gritty over driven bass tone. The title track rings out a darker melodic side of the band with punk timing and the much sought after sing along characterized by gang vocals. If you put out a record that sounds like this and you don’t incorporate gang vocals then you don’t know what you’re doing. This short EP ends with a melodic breakdown during “Demanding Answers” quickly followed by the “Outro”. This is an extremely fun and short record.

Overall: xLooking Forwardx has made quite the impact on many individuals within the Christian hardcore and punk community. In my opinion an EP is a quality release if I am left wanting more. Although I am no stranger to xLooking Forwardx I still get this feeling from Down With The Ship. Some might argue that Down With The Ship doesn’t do anything to challenge the current wave of trends in hardcore. I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with that sentiment, but I am definitely hoping for the best with the newly reunited xLooking Forwardx.

RIYL: Call To Preserve, Carrying The Fire, Set It Straight