Come Down - "Sender"
From Aural Innovations #21 (October 2002)
Late night writing is best accompanied by introspective, moody melodies that percolate into your consciousness — crashing death metal is not what the doctor would prescribe; ambient is too amorphous; prog too stately, structured.
But there is an emerging genre that seems to be tailor-made to the task. Call it what you like: brood rock (my term), angst-rock, or as described by New York City’s come down, ‘atmospherock.’. The band’s ‘sender’, as a representative sampling, is the right med: off-the-floor, live and delicately dark...
Moody, introspective, melancholy and starkly beautiful are also appropriate. Though they cite My Bloody Valentine, The Smiths, Verve and Radiohead as influences, lead vocalist Mark Pernice’s keeing vocals invoke early 90's David Sylvian (shortly after he split from Japan), particularly on the Portishead-inspired second track, ‘new script’. Tom Mallon’s keyboards are lush and swirling.
The third track, ‘fast cars’, is anchored by drummer Nicole Keiper’s complex time signature and Scott Altmann’s intricate guitar work. This track showcases attack and intensity, showing that come down ranges across musical moods with ease and dexterity.
‘Everyone With Guitars’ begins lush with a chiming guitar intro, then builds into an aggressive attack, with Altmann’s edgy guitar continuing a soft-focus snarl in the background. ‘I drive with closed eye’s wraps up a short yet memorable disk — slow tempo, atmospheric dirge. Guitar is as a swirling set of individual notes, not harmonics, but giving the same effect. Bass and guitar single notes are counterposed. Hypnosis is complete.
Sender works just below the level of consciousness, demanding more from the listener than may first be realized, yet rewarding with each successive listen..
This is a release that depends more on atmosphere than aggression, on nuance over bombast — come down is rich, late-night listening — in your car, your apartment, in your lover’s arms. Or, if you happen to visit the House of Usher...
Anyone looking for post-rock with a sweetly melancholic, thrashy sensibility will be well rewarded with come down’s sophomore disk.
For more information you can visit the Come Down web site at: http://www.come-down.net.
Reviewed by Ian Compton