Give Up The Ghost
We’re Down Til’ We’re Underground
We’re Down Til’ We’re Underground is the first album of new material from the band formerly known as American Nightmare. Unfortunately, it’s also their last. They apparently disbanded a few weeks ago. So much for putting the past behind them.
The newly rechristened Give Up The Ghost (GUTG) is/was a band best described as a modern variant of straight-up old school hardcore. The kind of stuff that’s clearly rooted in the east coast aesthetic popularized years ago by bands like Minor Threat, Avail, Slapshot and Sick Of It All. As is customary with hardcore efforts, there are plenty of gut-wrenching screams here, complete with a healthy dose of angry guitars and a thundering, precise rhythm section. No real surprises there. Also adhering to tradition is the album length: it’s short and sweet, clocking in at just over 30 minutes.
GUTG, however, does attempt to change things up a little here and there, with some atmospheric moments, studio tricks and acoustic tidbits scattered throughout. They’re definitely more focused and they sound more mature than your average band in the genre. Their knack for progressive songwriting and technical guitar playing lends an edge to the music that feels vaguely like fellow Bostonians Converge (whose front man J. Bannon is responsible for the badass artwork that accompanies the album).
The underground masses love (loved?) these guys, but boiled right down to its core, what we’ve got here just doesn’t break enough new ground for the average listener to get too excited about. It’s simply (for better or for worse) good modern hardcore with spirit: songs about friendships, struggling relationships, growing up and just trying to give a damn about the everyday. Not revolutionary perhaps, but done well, and with enough heart and intensity to really get the blood pumping if you’re in the right mood. Too bad they killed it.