The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Come-Down on an atmospheric trip

Come-Down greets you with a criminal smile. They wash over in aswirl of melodic ambience, spacey guitars and electronicsimmer.

Come-Down composes intricately woven art rock that will propellisteners into a land of the unknown and make it difficult toleave.

Mixing unique innovations similar to the likes of My BloodyValentine and early Radiohead with the acoustic moodiness of BlackRebel Motorcycle Club and Coldplay, Come-Down have managed tocreate their own niche within the atmospheric spectrum.

The Greenpoint, Brooklyn-based quartet came together in 2000 to”just make something beautiful” through a process of “trial, errorand delay pedals,” according to singer/guitarist, Mark Pernice.Pernice and lead guitarist Scott Altmann played together in highschool and after their band’s demise snagged drummer Nicole Keiper.Finding the perfect bassist, however, was a more difficulttask.

“We went and tried out about seven bass players, all claiming tohave the same influences as us, but managed to forget to mentionthey really want to play something like ‘punk-a-honk-a-Billy,'”Pernice said. “Nicole knew Tom (Mallon, bassist/keyboardist) fromwork and we wanted him to only play keys and make pretty noiseswith fancy machines. Eventually we got fed up, and Tom one daysaid, ‘hey why can’t I do both?’ and it all just came togetherafter that.”

Pernice’s passionate vocals and sincere lyricism blend perfectlywith the intense instrumental craftsmanship of experimentalguitars, groove-oriented bass, light cymbal-dominated drumming anda plethora of abstract electronics.

The band released their first EP in the summer of 2001,appropriately titled Sender. From the trippy guitars on “NewScript” to the heavily dramatic bridge on “Synesthesia” to thecrunchy yet still melodic irony of “Everyone with Guitars,” Senderprovided the utopian introduction to the fundamentals of Come-Down.With the release of their follow-up EP, Who’s Side Are You onAnyway, the band progressively expanded on those fundamentals.

The title track features obtuse vibrating guitar slides, faintkeyboard touches and an extended atypical bridge, while thecrowed-pleasing “Apparitions” takes a more upbeat approach with theaddition of a tambourine and ultra-sexy drum machine loops, bothwarning of the “anti-party.”

“It’s like a science experiment, there’s no real format,”Pernice said in reference to the writing process. “It can take oneday or eight months to complete something. Writing lyrics to me islike digging for gold. It’s dirty and tiresome, but you know youget something that is precious at the end.”

As the summer heat of 2003 intensified and matured, Come-Downartistically followed its lead by recording their most musicallyadvanced material as of yet. The Miner Street/Cycle SoundRecordings showcased three tracks that were meticulouslyconstructed, every note and vocal line sounds as if they took yearsto make.

The concept EP debuts a revamped edition of “Whose Side are youon Anyway,” highlighting an extended instrumental ending andadditional lyrics. “You Are Not a Song” is the acoustic-drivenballad whose poignant guitar line has a voice of its own, while”FS67″ is the 10-minute trance-enticing opus featuring tribalesquedrumming and aggressive vocals, concluding with the forcefullyrepeated line of “we’re gonna make it.”

“Whatever evolution our sound has undergone is purely a resultof us trying to keep from being bored from one song to the next,”Mallon said. “Oh, and relentless, mind-crushing perfectionism.”

To further their credit, the band just completed a UK tour withTrue Swamp Neglect, where they were welcomed by several hundredlisteners each night.

“I think everyone is getting a bit tired of the stigma attachedto the 2002-03 New York sound, and the public was very excited thatwe didn’t fit that bit,” Pernice noted.

The future for Come-Down appears vast and wide with plans ofplaying in and around New York City for the next couple of years,as well as further recording sessions. According to Pernice, “Infive years we will all be driving black 2009 Cadillac Escaladeswith Playstation 3s in the seats, I’m sure.”

Come-Down will make you think. They have the ability to make youcry and devilishly entertain you. The outer world can in fact befound if you just let Come-Down be your guides.

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