» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Give Up The Ghost
We're Down Til We're Underground
Equal Vision Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Not often does a band come along that is so easy to connect with on so many levels. There's a bunch of stuff you really want to like. Your friend's band, the cool lo-fi garage band that everybody's into, your band. What it all comes down to though, is that no matter how much you listen to something, rare is a band or album that continues to grow on you the more you listen to it. A truly great band requires stimulation both musically and lyrically in order for fans to appreciate their creative outputs. You don't need more than a couple listens to We're Down Til We're Underground to understand just why this album is so good…

After many name changes (American Nightmare, American Nothing, and so on…) and an agonizing legal battle that threatened the life of this great hardcore band, Give Up The Ghost have definitely bounced back. Their not-so-debut album, We're Down Til We're Underground, delivers on the promise of their last effort released under their old name, Background Music. That album showed a lot of people that the band wasn't just another volume-driven throwaway in the pile of hardcore mediocrity. Give Up The Ghost had an attitude, a message, and a style of their own and people immediately took notice.

We're Down Til We're Underground displays a marked evolution in song-writing, this time with a focus on disillusionment, self-defeat, and love lost (or never found for that matter). Singer Wes Eisold exposes his genuine thoughts and contemplations, pouring his heart out amidst Tim Cossar's textured guitar parts on every song. "Since Always" showcases Eisold's talents as a writer and puts any depressing thought we've ever written in our diaries into poetic form: "I never had it/ you never had it/ We were young and the sun didn't shine on us/ Where's the life you thought you'd live/ Where's the love you thought you'd give." The accompanying adrenaline-filled music serves as the perfect soundtrack to the angst-ridden feelings of disenchantment and uncertainty about the future that permeate this album.

When the curtain falls on "We Killed It", the final track with lyrics on We're Down Til We're Underground, Eisold explains "I need out of here/ I need my head clear/ I know my voice isn't great but at least its sincere/ We are all/ So conditioned to fall/ Its sad the song of the year is still nothing at all." Wes' unabashed feelings are in part why this album melodically and lyrically puts into words all the reasons why you listen to music in the first place: the rush, the release, and the venting from everyday struggles. In this respect, music is our religion. Eisold says it best on "The Last Supper Afterparty": "I repent all the times I said you don't exist/ My gospels from the Church of/ Stereo Activists."

It is incredibly hard for a band to carve a niche for themselves in any genre of music, let alone hardcore. With their legal battles, band name and member changes, and unrelenting tour schedule, Give Up The Ghost endured an arduous uphill battle just to continue making music. We're Down Til We're Underground is an epitome of the thinking-man's hardcore album, complete with coded, thought-provoking lyrics and powerful guitar riffs that make each song distinct yet manage to tie everything together. Albums like Refused's The Shape Of Punk To Come led the way for albums like We're Down Til We're Underground to come along. This release isn't quite on same level, but the band is getting closer with each release. If you haven't heard Give Up The Ghost or failed to keep up with all the name changes, take notice now. This band deserves your attention.

Reviewed by Matt Bendett

See other reviews by Matt Bendett



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