Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and a fun New Year's celebration. This week I'll be doing a double review for the Workhorse and Firehorse EPs by Downcity Armory, a self-described electrocore band out of Providence, Rhode Island.
Workhorse is an aggressive mix of Industrial Metal, Electronica, and lyrics that show an angry working-class mentality that's fed up with the way things are run. This album calls to mind performers like Nine Inch Nails, Rob Zombie, Battle of Los Angeles era Rage Against the Machine, and Powerman 5000. This EP is very strong lyrically, and the production is surprisingly good for a band that's been around less than two years. They make good use of imagery without being overly cliché. For me, the breakout star on this EP is A Billion Guns. The lyrics and music seem more refined, more focused. It almost brings to mind the cover of Land of Confusion that Disturbed released as a single back in 2006. A Billion Guns is angry, in your face, and hooky enough to get stuck in your head for hours. Release The Beast is the first song on the EP and shows that this band knows their musical style forwards and backwards. My one sticking point with this song is that I was looking for a beauty to balance the beast-like vocals. A beautiful female vocal juxtaposed against the aggressive male vocals and music could have been really cool, but that's just a stylistic preference. It's definitely a song metalheads can get into. Both Thompson's Beat and Club Hell are solid songs that are well executed with Thompson's Beat being the hook-ier of the two.
Firehorse is far more Electronica driven than Workhorse and seems to deal more with internet culture than political culture (with the exception of A Moving Disaster which feels like it belongs on Workhorse lyrically speaking). Girls <3 Digital is another hooky offering and probably the most likely to be seen as a single. It's fun and dance-able while pointing out how women are often treated online. Doublewiretap while having probably the coolest name of any of the songs reviewed also has some of the coolest music on this EP and musically really reminds me of Love Spit Love's cover of How Soon Is Now? by The Smiths. Lyrically, Firehorse is just as strong as Workhorse however it feels like whoever took lead on the vocals kept attempting to go just out of their range rather than adjust the key of the song.
Overall, these two EPs are solid. They contain good quality music from a band that has been together less than two years. I think Downcity Armory is definitely a band to keep your eye on, and if you have the chance go see them live. They'll be playing at TempleCon in February 2015 at The Crowne Plaza in Warwick, Rhode Island alongside Nathaniel Johnstone and many others.
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