Sunday, January 14, 2007

Double Down - Review

The country-rock or "alternative country" genre is fast becoming a crowded one, and because of this, it is becoming harder and harder for a band rooted in these styles to create something that is still new, unique, and exiting. However, combining hard rock, country and blues, Denver Colorado's Double Down are one such band that seem to be determined to stand out from the pack with their latest EP Still Motion.

It would be hard to argue that the six songs offered are packed full of energy, passion and sincerity, with every track being played as if it may be their last. You can almost smell the dirt, sweat, and whiskey with each passing song, which all seem to be begging to be played live rather than within the confines of the recording.

The musicianship is very good, with the only criticism being the sometimes flamboyant guitar solos that somehow seem to contradict the humble country roots and elegant subtlety of some songs. The songs are catchy while still retaining their rawness, and the lyrics of Jeff Browning add to the rollicking atmosphere of the music.

The best songs are the ones that stick closest to their country roots while still including a healthy dose of blues infused rock such as "Other Side" and "Whiskey Driver" rather than the more rock based tracks like "Sometimes" which tend to trade their timeless roots rock sound for more of a grunge meets country aesthetic that isn't quite as compelling.

Overall, Double Down are a band that manages to stand out within a crowded country-rock landscape, which is becoming very a hard thing to do. Although it still seems as if they are still discovering their sound, they show promise through their energy, passion, honesty, as well as their ability to meld the rawness of rock n roll with the earnestness of country and blues.

Double Down

- Clino

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