Review: Write This Down – Write This Down

Artist: Write This Down
Album: Write This Down
Genre: Post-hardcore
Label: Tooth & Nail

Ever since their inception in 2005, Write This Down has set out to rekindle a flame the hardcore world has been missing. Instead of relying on the constraints the genre have established they confirm sticking to one particular genre is a conventional route, but not the only route. Write This Down is a power trio based out of Minnesota that melds powerful rock anthems with hardcore elements and pop-driven passages. Confirming their youthful drive, they have spent the last five years juggling life commitments while maintaining focus on crafting their sound while self-financing numerous tours. Their tireless devotion and talent have amassed a loyal fan base but have merely found them sitting at the cusp of a breakthrough. In the midst of their career they have released a number of EP’s that helped gain critical attention but they have relatively remain under the radar. In 2009 they struck the interests of renowned label, Tooth & Nail Records and immediately found themselves in the studio to work on their self-titled debut album. With a strong drive and achieving a prominent record deal, Write This Down, is determined to leave their underground sensation status behind to reach a more worldwide success.

Over the course of their career they have experimented with passionate balladry while continuing to expand to a heavier, dirty rock sound. Their self-titled album meticulously combines both styles and even pays tribute to their older work by offering four re-recorded tracks from previous releases. While remaining true to their original sound, Write This Down continues to show progression and have heightened their use of poppy melodies and catchy hooks. “Alarm the Alarm,” opens instantly setting the tone by unleashing an angry demeanor while maintaining a counterbalance of the aforementioned melodies. Following in the same vein as the opener, “Despite Your Valour,” succeeds with pounding drums and an intense guitar riff but descends into a melodic piece. Introducing their dirty rock sound, “Renegade,” follows with a full range of tempo changes and dynamic mood variations that is sure to keep your attention. As the music unfolds you’re hit with a multitude of buildups and breakdowns that lead to a noteworthy culmination. Towards the middle of the track subtle vocals escalate to constant guitar picking alongside heavy drums and at the crescendo a full heavy assault hits.

While the bulk of the album is aimed to please post-hardcore fans they also dabble in upbeat tunes that are sure to please fans without an inclination towards heavier music. Theband’s pop sen si bil i ties really can’t be ignored; songs like “Handgrenades”, “I Never Said I Was Through With You,” and “Center of Attention,” are arguably their catchi est, most sing-a-long-worthy tracks yet. Vocalist Johnny Collier proves that he is able to keep up with the extreme variations by delivering a full range of vocals. His versatility and ability to interchange screaming and singing with ease is nothing short of compelling. Write This Down further exhibit their coverage of musical territory on the breathtaking ballad “Citadel.” A piano line and acoustic guitar alternate the lead role and make a gorgeous combination.  Not only is the music hard hitting but the lyrics shoot a direct arrow to your heart. The afflicting line, “I fall asleep with twisted dreams. What did you do because I just can’t seem to shake this. I fall asleep with twisted dreams. What did you do because I can’t move on without this,” is repeated. Towards the last repeation, pounding drums kick in and a passionate execution of anguishing screams layered over clean singing transcend every other powerful moment onthis album. Once you feel like you’ve had your heart forcibly removed from your chest, “Redemption” comes in repairing your heartbeat but filling it with a feeling of angst. The heartbreaking lyrics diminish as the line, “This is do or die, look a promise in the eye. I hope to God you’re comfortable enough to live a lie,” leaves you with a bitter taste in your mouth.

While it’s apparent they have an angst-drive side, it’s really faithfulness and a hopeful outlook drive Write This Down.  “Handgrenades,” “Center of Attention,” and “We Shot the Moon,” display this with optimistic views and proclaiming faith. “We Shot the Moon,” has indisputably the catchiest chorus but as the positive look transpires the animosity returns on the highlight track “Kings and Councilors.” After a commanding breakdown the loathing line, “Like an avalanche, I will bring you to your knees and the pressure with crush your bones, silencing your screams,” sent chills down my spine. As the album comes to a close, their tender side makes another appearance on the acoustic-driven track “Heaven and Hell.”  The lyrics, “just wait till the morning where bright lights are bound and a conquering spirit returns to this hollowed out cavity,” brought the track and album to beautiful yet sorrow filled ending.

Write This Down is a power trio that carries the weight and intensity of a full-fledged band. On their self-titled release, they embellish their sound with catchy hooks and uptempo songs, while maintaining an aggressive edge to keep them from plummeting into a mainstream sound. Write This Down have a diversity that is not only commendable but delivered with ease. Their extreme variation will enable them to pull audiences from all age groups and spectrums. While I’m sure this is the first time many people hear of Write This Down, it should be noted that since their EP’s, they have vastly improved their musicianship and refined their styling. If there is one thing this album proves, it’s that Write This Down is a band you’ll want to keep your eye on.

Score: 9/10

Review written by: Nerissa Judd

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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  • Scott

    Sounds promising! Great review, I’ll have to check them out.

  • Evan

    Dang, finally got it, and i agree with everything you said. Its a blast to listen to and i can appreciate the non-generic sound in the metal scene. its a good mix of sounds. Great review