Review: Downstream – I Used To Feel Everything

12242210_10156178519610542_559737330_nI Used To Feel Everything is the latest EP from Hamilton, Ontario’s Downstream, a fledgling emotive punk outfit who tap into a lyrical, heartfelt brand of aggression that has risen to prominence in recent years thanks to bands such as Being As An Ocean, My Iron Lung, and Gatherers. While Downstream tread some familiar sonic territory throughout this four-track offering, ebbing and flowing between introspective verses and fierce climaxes, they don’t shy away from pushing boundaries. The band blend an array of varied influences with skill and cohesion, meaning that no single genre label can adequately encapsulate their sound. Listeners with inclinations towards grunge-oriented acts like Citizen and Basement, as well as those steeped in the melodic hardcore of Defeater, Hundredth, and company, will find plenty to appreciate here. Downstream consistently keep things refreshing in the vocal department, with a trio of distinct vocalists exchanging impassioned verses in a system that achieves a healthy balance between melody and cacophony. This versatility is arguably the band’s biggest asset, putting them in the same league as Canadian post-hardcore legends Alexisonfire insofar as vocal diversity is concerned. The EP’s inaugural track, entitled “A Formal Reply”, effectively articulates the band’s mission statement, reeling in the listener with an anthemic punk sensibility that’s immediately catchy and engaging on the one hand, while original and forward-thinking on the other. With I Used To Feel Everything, Downstream have proven themselves as a band worth paying attention to. The EP will likely turn a significant number of heads throughout the punk community, and serve as a challenge to other bands to continue innovating and taking risks – a welcome contribution in a scene where many groups have been content to play it safe in recent years.

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