If proof were needed that we live in a post-genre world then look no further than Downard. Although often found on live bills with spikey 2-piece punk bands such as Ghost of The Avalanche and Gag Reflex, I guess that is more to do with their loud and uncompromising nature than any real generic brotherhood. Although they share some of the hallmarks of such snotty, in your face punk bands, it is where they take that core idea that really sets them apart from the pack.
It is not just their sound – one of high end bass pushed through distorted guitar amps, thunderous and skittering drum onslaughts and vocals processed through effects pedals until the words just become eerie, distorted and dystopian soundscapes – but their very approach to song writing itself. Whilst many of the bands that they share the stage with still seem fixated with the raw, directness and aggression of say, No Means No, Downard are one theoretical version of that band pushed further down the jazz-punk path, through trippy psychedelia, proggy changes of dynamics and then skipping merrily back again possibly whilst holding hands with The Pop Group.
Some records benefit from analysing the songs, breaking down the music or exploring the band ethos, Downard are best viewed as an art-space, a musical instillation or just an interesting idea. And as ideas go it’s pretty damn original.