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Down II: A Bustle In Your Hedgerow
on 22 July 2011
Down released their second album Down II: A Bustle In Your Hedgerow in 2002 to a less favorable reaction than any of their other albums.
The New Orleans based band released their previous album first album all the way back in 1995 and this second album had a hard time living up to the cult classic.
Down II delivers the band's trademark formula of sludge and southern rock influenced stoner rock; this time in what people may call a looser, bluesy and more jam-orientated atmosphere. This looseness was a large part of the reason Down II wasn't met with the same universal praise as their debut album NOLA.
The so called loose atmosphere doesn't put me off at all, partly because it sounds fun and partly because it is only really present on a few tracks anyway and I feel it was unfairly seized upon as a reason to dislike the album.
The album is still full to the brim with the sort of big riffs and memorable choruses that make the band so great. Tracks like `Ghosts Along The Mississippi,' `Beautifully Depressed,' and `New Orleans is a Dying Whore,' are among the finest the band have yet to release.
I feel the track `Stained Glass Cross,' in particular deserves special attention, with it shuffling verse and soulful chorus, the track is almost reminiscent of Clutch. Its one of the most memorable tracks on the album and musically is completely unique within the Down catalogue.
In summary, Down II may be the public's least favourite Down album, but the band are so good that still leaves it as an amazing record, containing a large chunk of the band's live repertoire. If you like anything by Down you really ought to get a hold of this album too.