"Anodyne" (Jubba Dee Productions; 2004)

Reviewed by Snidermann

First and foremost, I like all good music, be it classic rock, hard rock, heavy metal or pretty much anything else in the neighboring genres. So as I listened to Down And Above's "Anodyne," I could not really understand what exactly it is that I like about this band - all I know for certain is that I do. 

The music is solid rock'n'roll, full of power chords, better than average lead licks and easy to understand vocals and straightforward lyrics. That combination is a winner every time in my book. 

This is one talented band that shows its different colors on each and every song. What a joy to listen to!

Down And Above: David Young - guitar and vocals; Ian Allison - bass and vocals; Zach Young - drums and vocals. 

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"Vena Cava" (Jubba Dee Productions; 2002)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Hailing from Minnesota (by way of Montana) the trio Down And Above sounds like a hard rocking King's X with a modern, hard edge. If there ever was a classic American hard rock band that integrated unforgettable melodies into their sound it is King's X - from the sound of "Vena Cava" it appears Down And Above aren't that far behind in achieving similar status.

With three vocalists, Down And Above can use the same versatility that King's X have used for years by adding more dimensions to their music. All three vocalists create a range of vocal sounds that invite comparisons when singing solo, but the robust sound of the harmony vocals is in a world all its own. Musically, Down And Above play catchy hard rock that could probably be played on most rock radio stations these days. Nearly all of the tunes have cool breakdowns that are hardcore flavored, but not too abrasive. Lyrically, Down And Above deal with some difficult topics (the murder of a close friend, suicide, unrequited love), but could probably benefit from a bit a maturation.

"Vena Cava" contains nine originals and a driving, powerful cover of Peter Gabriel's "Digging In The Dirt."

"Vena Cava" is a nice surprise of a hard rock record that didn't quite totally blow me away, but made me take notice in a big way. A number of media outlets have taken notice of Down And Above's catchy sound and style so it's no surprise that big things have been happening for the band.

"Vena Cava" was produced by Down And Above. For a 'home' recording the sound is crystal clear and punchy - very impressive. Makes me wonder how good their next record will sound in a proper studio - trust me, these guys won't be doing home recordings any more.

Down And Above is David Young on vocals and guitar, Ian Allison on bass and vocals, and Zach Young on drums and vocals.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
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