Album review: Dystopian Beats – Tear Them Down

Dystopian Betas_Tear Them Down

Dystopian Beats is the new album from Gothenburg band Tear Them Down and it’s being released on german label Bakraufarfita Records on the 27th of May. This band has been around since 2010 but for some reason they haven’t really showed up on my radar up until now. That’s weird considering their first albums sounds like the kind of punkrock I really enjoy, like Bombshell Rocks, Blisterhead and Voice of a Generation.

In 2019 they had a change in their lineup and this seems to have changed their style a bit, going more towards a harder and darker, a little bit more hardcore, direction. This tends to not to be my cup of tea, which made me hesitant to review their new album, but I thought I would give it a good listen and decide to write about it afterwards if I felt I could give it an honest and well-grounded opinion. And here we are.

The album opens with a short and mostly instrumental song that is a tell of things to come. It’s hard, well played and more towards the hardcore side of the punk-spectrum. Sacrifice continues in the same harder fashion, it’s fast and hard, but to my liking it got quite a melodic chorus. Those hard an straight forward verses combined with a more melodic will come back in a lot of the songs. In the chorus of Total Control it feels like I’m listening to early Rise Against, which by no way is bad thing.

There are also songs that makes me think about the 90’s punk, such as Bad Religion and the Offspring. As We Go Down, Victimized and in some parts Tell Me Something definitely has that sound to it, and I enjoy it. Brown Bag and This Won’t End Well goes back to the short and hard HC style before the band unexpectedly takes a turn back to their own roots in Kyoto Nightmare which has much more of a classic punkrock/streetpunk style to it, and most probably because of that becomes one of my favourites on the record. Closing track Thrill Of Death has a little bit of a Ska-vibe in the verses but combines it with a harder chorus instead. It’s an interesting way to close off the album, but by no means a bad way.

Lyrically it fits the title, and the art, of the album. I’m not going to say it’s depressing, because it’s not taken that far, but it’s definitely on the dystopian theme. It’s well written throughout though and there’s nothing that makes me go “what the hell” in a bad way. It’s also really well played and the production suits the music nicely, it doesn’t sound thin but also not overproduced, which sometimes can be a tricky balance in the genre.

This is a record that clearly shows which direction the band wants to take their sound going forward, and the fact that it’s actually numbered as #2 on the front of the artwork shows that they see this as their sophomore release on this new road. And however much I like the style of their first releases, I find myself not being totally against this new direction. There’s a musical width on this album that makes it interesting to listen to, and it doesn’t at any point get boring along the way. It’s well played, the band knows their genres and has a sound that stands out a bit more than it did before. Give it a listen if you like a bit harder and HC-sounding punk that’s still melodic, and that plays homage to the 90’s Epitaph wave of bands.