For Heads Down are a five piece melodic punk rock band from Siegen in Germany. Back in July they released their second album Resurgence with the help of Melodic Punk Style Records. The thirteen track album promises crunching riffs, pounding drums running alongside melodic vocals and catchy choruses.
The opening track Fatty Livers And Deep Pockets is a positive song about feeling better when you get on stage and play a gig. It's about how you can forget all of life's problems and find a way to escape. It's the same feeling we all get when we attend gigs. When I first clicked play on the track I kind of expected more of a harder edge to the poppy sound that greeted us, this sound worked really well with the message within the song however. On the next song, In This Case, we feel the harder edge of the For Heads Down sound. Christian Kalmbach puts in a sterling performance behind the drum kit as his beat really gives the song an incredibly strong back bone. Alongside this we have some wonderfully urgent sounding guitars with Philipp Nowotny's soaring vocals. This is the sound I expected from For Heads Down and I really enjoyed it. How It Feels continues with this sound. The song has a pounding also metal-like intro that had my head banging immediately. For Heads Down do something really interesting on the song with the music and vocals seemingly being played at different tempos to create quite an effect. This adds more urgency behind Nowotny's emotional lyrics.
The fourth song, Stuck In Reverse, starts out with a huge sing-along beginning before we get into some proper shouty vocals that add some aggression into the song. I hadn't really realised that some aggression was missing from the songs before it was added. I think this is where For Heads Down are at their very best. Last Man Standing makes you feel like For Heads Down are going to slow things down for the fifth song with some more jangly guitars and a more plodding style until the vocals hit and come at you faster than ever. It's when we reach the chorus that you feel fully involved in the song as you can shout along "Til I'm the last man standing, believe in the better times." This is a song that takes you through a series of highs and lows before slowly fading out and launching into the fifty second song Calculator. Sound wise this is a definite ode to the 90s EpiFat sound that has influenced so many of the current crop of punk rock bands throughout the world. If you love that EpiFat sound then I'm very confident that you're really going to enjoy this song. The seventh song is titled Side Effects. This track continues the melodic punk rock style, with the longer intro to the song really standing out. It feels kind of retrospective, a song that is supposed to make you think and take a look at yourself.
Goals features an incredible guitar solo which alone is worth listening to the song for. The vocals on the track feel more subdued compared to what we've heard on Resurgence so far and it's a welcome change as it adds a bit of variety to the album. Following this is a slightly poppier number in the form of Much The Same. It features one of those great long intros that make you feel like something big is about to happen. It ticks all of the boxes for melodic punk rock – crunching guitars, powerful drumming and soaring vocals. This is a great advertisement for what For Heads Down are all about. The title of the tenth track is Quiet Irony. Quiet Irony starts off slowly with some rumbling bass and slowly builds up. This build gives the song a hell of a lot of intensity from the outset. We are then greeted by a kind of clunking style with Nowotny's vocals working overtime to carry the melody of the track. I really enjoyed this approach to the song as I thought it really spiced things up a bit.
Smile is a song about looking back on your life in the search for answers. This track again sees For Heads Down in retrospective mode. Like on How It Feels, it feels as if the music and vocals are going at two different tempos which creates a great sound. This is one of those great songs where you can listen to it ten times in a row and keep hearing new little bits that you love. The penultimate track is titled Wasting Time. Wasting Time is probably my favourite song on Resurgence. Musically it's a little harder than anything else but features great sing-along moments throughout. The build towards the big finale is superb and I can imagine a room full of people with fists in the air shouting the words back at the band. This is what I love. Last up is the five and half minute long Feeding The Beast. Being such a length I was expecting this to be an epic ending to Resurgence but if I'm being completely honest it felt as if it could have been placed anywhere on the album. That doesn't stop it being a great song, because it is but I was really expecting something a bit more.
Melodic punk rock seems to be making a big come back throughout Europe. Resurgence is a very aptly named album and should cement For Heads Down among the very best in the genre.
Stream and download Resurgence here: https://forheadsdown.bandcamp.com/
Like For Heads Down here: https://www.facebook.com/forheadsdown
This review was written by Colin Clark.