On second thought, let's just say who cares. Upon listening to the opening measures of "At A Standstill", the first cut on A Fight For Last Place, it'd be downright pointless to look at the past endeavors of Stay Down, because they seem to be moving toward the future. In light of the current musical landscape, with it's formulaic (yawn) pop songs and the middle-aged angst of nu-metal (double yawn) and the prefabricated teenies (zzzzzzzz), it may be safe to say that this is something new. And in this day and age, it's nice to be able to say that about anything, especially a rock band.
The songs on A Fight for Last Place are refreshing, the arrangements are tight, and the energy is overflowing. Not bad for some Jersey Shore twentysomethings with contrasting musical backgrounds. Joe Blong (bass), with a classical and jazz background,. Avery Coffee (guitar, vocals) and Bob Lepor (drums) have no formal training. That being said, I think it's safe to say that these guys learned from listening (what a concept!!). Their influences are apparent, but at first I couldn't really tell whether they were trying to emulate or innovate. After a few more listens I'd have to choose the latter.
Lyrically, the songs are reflective (albeit opinionated), rather than personal and they have a certain honesty to them that makes me wonder if anyone else is writing like this anymore. The subject matter ranges from sex to computers to musical complacency. It's obvious that when Coffee sings, "I'll be broke/Maybe I won't/but I'm not changing /One f**king note", on "All Smiles", that he damn well means it. Maybe that's what a few years in a cover band will do to musicians-it'll make them take chances, and that's just what music needs at this point.
It's hard to imagine that the band has only been together for six months, and after seeing their live show it would be impossible to determine. The band ripped through their set with utter tenacity and even found time to debut a new song, entitled "Paxil", which if is any indication of what's to come I can't wait for more. They tell me they are writing a lot more stuff to follow up on the ten song A Fight for Last Place, and if the songs are anywhere near as good as these, I might have to start a band of my own.
Spazztic Magazine Oct '01
Check out the artist's website:
1. Spring Time
2. Damaged Goods
3. Make It Count
5. The Conversation
6. Assigned Risk
8. Deaf & Dumb
9. Air Space