To The Ground - Fallout
Released off label 2017
Angry music for damaged people.
That's how To The Ground has themselves labeled on their bandcamp bio, and it would be hard to argue that. A solo act from Chicago, Illinois comprising of Meredith Wilson and his own bitterness, his album Fallout is a pounding, deep clash of guitars and perfect atmosphere that combines the angry, dark sound of nineties acts like PIG, Sister Machine Gun and others of that ilk. The album clocks in at just over forty minutes, a nice average length to sit and listen though, with no dull moments to skip. I'll be speaking about a few of the tracks in particular, then glossing over the album as a whole.
The opening track, fitting titled 'How It Ends', pretty much is a perfect encapsulation of To The Ground's style - grittiness, low vocals, yelling, anger, depression, it's everything that he has to offer neatly written in one song. While not my personal favorite song on the album, if I had to show someone just one song to explain To The Ground to them, it would be this one.
The third track, 'The Wheel', is by far my favorite song on this album. It's like the musical equivalent of a broken down carnival with the barker still trying to heckle money from you. A slow, depressing song with low BPM swing influenced drums with incredibly catchy lyrics that get stuck in your head from the first time you listen to it, making you sing along with it every time you hear it after.
'Bondage' is the fourth song and is the most industrial song on the album, but it's for that reason that I don't really like it as much as the most of the album. Those signature crunchy guitars are almost completely absent here and they're sorely missed...but if you're not into mixing guitars with your angry noise, then this might be the track for you.
Fallout as a whole has a whole fuck of a lot going for it. It seems that this style of industrial rock isn't something that you hear a lot of these days. The production isn't perfect, but it isn't muddy like some kid who just pirated FL Studio and started fucking with his first DAW. It's thick in an endearing way that adds personality to the tracks, giving them a certain edge that they might otherwise have been missing. To The Ground knows exactly what they're doing, and they're doing it well.
My only real criticisms come from some of the song structure. For instance, in the song 'Endless War', you've got a plodding death march of a song that wouldn't sound out of place next to some of the slower Ministry tracks, with a chorus that has 'goth club hit' written all over it, along with some really long pause breaks. There aren't many moments like this on the album, but when they happen they're rather noticeable.
Fallout is available under Pay What You Want pricing on bandcamp, so you can just go check it out for free - and if you like it, throw the guy a couple bucks.
Favorite Track: The Wheel.
Least Favorite Track: Elegy.May 21 2017
Fat bastard/bringer of disaster behind Lights Out, God Help Me. Occasionally does things for Brutal Resonance.
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