3dBs Down, Get Your Retaliation In First
You might not have heard of 3dBs Down, but after this album they’ll be impossible to forget. These Gravesend rockers have taken a back seat for the last 15 years, but they’re back with a vengeance – Get Your Retaliation In First is a fierce, anthemic ska-punk-rock kick to the teeth that will leave you gloriously satiated. They’ve been described as ‘Less Than Jake on steroids’, and we’re inclined to agree; with unstoppable tempos and stupidly pit-worthy singalongs, 3dBs Down have created an infectiously joyous album that will charm the socks off of just about any listener.
At Your Signal is the perfect opener, immediately highlighting every aspect that make 3dBs Down so magnificent. Provocative questions of masculinity clash with an upbeat, infectious tempo – the track asks “so… how do you feel?” before quickly cutting off any answers with “WRONG!! YOU’RE A MAN! YOU FEEL NOTHING!” followed by a burst of glowing, bright punk-rock guitar riffs. And when we say glowing, we mean it; there’s something so instantly familiar about the quartet’s sound, something that warms your heart and forces a smile out of you. At moments this track even sounds like Creeper’s Will Gould has been plopped in the centre of a ska band… and, honestly, it’s awesome.
This sense of joy is a definite product of the ska + punk-rock combination – combining two of the most fun genres around is a recipe for success – but also their avid use of call-and-response. Their tracks are filled to the brim with snappy singalongs and riotous crowd vocals; if you’re not yelling to ‘UNLEASH HELL!’, you’re screaming along to Count To A Million’s calls of ‘CONCRETE’S NOT PERMANENT!’. The call-and-response is incredibly slick and effective thanks to the band’s THREE vocalists – yes, you heard that right! Tracks like Moussaka take advantage of this factor, blasting out gloriously layered, whole-hearted calls of ‘but what if you’re, what if you’re wrong!’, while the bouncy, ska-heavy Hang In There Man has equally as enthusiastic calls of ‘today!!’ ‘no way!!’.
The innovative use of vocals doesn’t end there – there’s also a genius consideration of where the vocals are coming from. The outstanding Everyone Here Is Better Than You has vocals calling back and forth between your headphones, encircling you in an innovative, almost theatrically immersive anthem of self-doubt. The mass of layered, interestingly utilised vocal talents creates a real sense of atmosphere – you can IMAGINE how wild the tracks will be live, feel the energy pulsing underneath the surface of every track.
Interesting structural choices are only strengthened by even more thoughtful, baring lyrics; At Your Signal throws out the phrase ‘let it all wash over you but never drown’, while steady, crashing drumbeat of Pink Cardigan Twinset provides poetically poignant lines such as ‘the true obsolescence of the living antique’. No lyric feels lazy or cliché, which can often be an easy trap to fall into when your instrumentals are solid – but no, 3dBs Down wouldn’t do that to us!
Light On A Dark Day proclaims ‘no matter if we fail – we have to try!’ – well, we’re here to confirm that this album is DEFINITELY no failure. The work put into this album is evident, every element of its production absolutely glorious. You can HEAR how much fun the guys are having, and it makes their sound all-the-more irresistible. The album is currently available via their Indiegogo fund, so go and get your grubby hands on it!