If you can imagine a World where Chris Daughtry, Nickelback and Black Stone Cherry form the Holy Trinity for rock fans – go on, push through and try – then it becomes conceivable that Indiana’s Downshift could well be the next big thing…
Back in the real world, however, Downshift won’t find things so easily unfortunately. For whilst there’s nothing actively wrong with their undemanding brand of guitar-heavy rock n’roll, there’s just not enough that’s right about generic rockers like Here We Come or Nothing To Lose to mark them out as a band with enough X-Factor to become anything more than just faces in the crowd.
For a start the production on this self-titled effort doesn’t really serve the band well. This is wannabe arena rock, but the sound they’ve created, whilst undoubtedly good enough for your local rock bar on a Friday night, just lacks the focus to match the band’s undoubted ambition. They play well, especially the triple axe assault of Clayton Barber, Aaron Parrett and Jordan Payne, and Payne’s very solid ‘close your eyes and it’s Chris Robertson‘ vocal tone is sure to make a few record exec ears prick up and listen if ever it falls into the right hands, but at most turns they find themselves hamstrung by a cut-price sound that does them no favours.
That’s not their fault entirely – these are hard times for all of us, financially, after all – and it’s a shame, because best track Ready To Run shows that the band are heading in the right direction at times and certainly know a thing or two about what gets Middle America rocking. But for now it seems the time isn’t quite right for Downshift – maybe album number two? Let’s hope so!
One In The Chamber releases on November 17th.