I grew up listening to punk rock on a small island in the middle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. No need to tell you that punk rock were pretty rare, not to say totally non-existent. So when I moved to Quebec City in 2001, I was super excited to finally be able to go to shows. Downway was one of the first bands I had the chance to see live back then and that’s probably why I’ve always had a soft spot for them. So when I heard that they were back together, with a new drummer, and recording their first album in 15 years, I couldn’t wait to hear the final product.
So the four-piece from Calgary released Last Chance for More Regrets on Thousand Islands Records on May 1st. I have to say that the cover, designed by Juan de Lange, is totally amazing. In fact, it’s probably my favorite cover so far this year. A child in a damaged and dark world who has the choice to go up or go down, in the unknown. I couldn’t think of a better way to describe the world we live in.
Two weeks after the release, I had the chance to see them live at Pouzza Fest. It was the first time I could see them since the first time in 2001 and I have to say that they were as amazing as in my memory. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to listen to the new record as much as I would have liked to before the show, but I can tell that they played a couple of new songs and they were great.
It’s just a couple of months later that I really took the time to listen carefully to Last Chance for More Regrets. What an amazing record! Right from the first song, Black Taxes, you know you’re in for some great melodic punk rock. The guitar riffs are as technical as melodic, which creates a perfectly balanced sound. Combined with Dave Pederson‘s voice, that is very high pitch and powerful and reminds me a lot of a power-metal-kind of voice, the melodies are just perfect. Some old punk rockers were a bit deceived by Downway‘s new sound that is less « raw » than the first records, but I just think that the evolution is awesome. I love catchy songs and the band offers us plenty of them on this new record.
My favorite songs: Letters, Mary and Wild Ones. In fact, if we split the record in two right in the middle, I’d say that the first half is my favorite one. Don’t get me wrong, I like the second half too, but I feel like the songs don’t reach me so much. I’m not a big fan of the 80s vibe present in a couple of songs, especially in Last Night’s Makeup that really sounds like a 80s rock ballad. But all in all, Last Chance for More Regrets is a very good album and hopefully I’ll have the chance to hear some songs live again in a near future.
Here’s the link to the record on Bandcamp: https://thousandislandsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/last-chance-for-more-regrets.