Album Review :
180 Out - Send Down Your Love

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Band: 180 Out

Title: Send Down Your Love

Label: N/A

Release Date: 2010

Review By: Scott L

Tracklisting:

  1. Send Down Your Love
  2. The Sugarcoat
  3. Too Cool
  4. Good News
  5. That Kid
  6. Johnny Is An Emo
  7. Just Pray
  8. Hey Hey Hey
  9. A Man Like That
  10. 180 Out

As much as it pains me to admit, there was a time in my life when I fashioned myself to be a punk. Spiked hair, silver lipstick, torn jeans, army surplus jacket with an anarchy “A” stenciled crooked on the back, and a tiny hand-grenade dangling from my ear. It’s funny in retrospect the phases you go through in life. We tend to think of life as very linear when in fact it’s more like a tripped seismograph. I can still feel the sun on my face, the sweat on my brow, and the succession of elbows in my ribs during the huge Rock Against Reagan protest/concert in D.C. They were wild times. Under the microscope, punk has changed a bit over the years. Migrating across the sea and solidifying a whole counter-culture in America that largely still exists today, although with a bit of a face-lift. At any rate, this review had me dipping into the past to more aptly capture a modern perspective on a sound I’d nearly forgotten how much I enjoyed.

180 Out is a 3-piece alt-punk band out of York, Pennsylvania. Comprised of a father, son, and daughter… 180 Out manages to successfully combine a number of influences and elements into a fusion of sound. From straight forward punk, to surf punk, to rockabilly, to jangly alt-rock… somehow it just seems to all fit perfectly. Overlaid with a quintessential punk rock vocal delivery and a mix of female supporting vocals, the tracks are typically upbeat and energetic.

Packaging was well-done and included song lyrics which are always a nice thing. Production is good, but not great. No complaints there though as it lends a more D.I.Y. sound to the mix… and isn’t that the way punk is supposed to be heard? No corporate sell outs. No big label polish. No string pulling by the establishment. Raw sonics that are edgy without being painfully sharp.

Lyrically, 180 Out really shines. There’s no mincing words here. The gospel is unashamedly presented in an uncut and compelling way. There’s no doubt that these guys, and gal, are fired up about the God they serve and know their Bible. That alone goes a long way in my book. Punk’s always catered to an in-your-face message and 180 Out takes full advantage of that fact. Consider the song “A Man Like That” which says, “this guy named John / he came to show the way / for the one and only King / who is coming to save / to serve my Lord is my only desire / I baptize with water / but He’ll baptize with Fire / I want to know a man like that / God in the flesh came to die for you and me / I want to know a love like that / He poured it all out with His blood / as they nailed Him to the tree”. Or how about the song “Good News” which says, “God so loved the world / He sent His Son to die for me and you / Jesus took our sin when He rose up again / and He walked out of that tomb / now I’m telling everybody about the really really really good news”. And rest assured, the lyrics don’t ever come across as contrived or forced. The songs are well-crafted and sincere and it’s evident throughout this 10-song release that a lot of time, effort, and prayer went into it.

The standout track for me was probably “The Sugarcoat”. It stood out musically as well as thematically. Anyone who’s read any of my reviews knows that I’m not into hiding your candle under a bushel or luking out the gospel to make it more palatable. It is what it is, and should be presented as such. And this song is the exact antithesis of wussing out in your Christian witness. A close second was the aforementioned song “Good News”.

Overall: 180 Out has a lot to offer. So if you’re at all into alt-punk that gives the nod to such bands as Descendents, The Ramones, and Home Grown, than this CD should hit your soft spot. And if you’re not careful it might just hit your heart as well. So drag out your spiked belt, combat boots, and safety pins… and get ready to slam! Or just kick back and save yourself the bruises.  Either way, do yourself a favor and check this CD out.

www.myspace.com/180out4him

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