Downer – Downer (2001)
Despite arriving during rap-metal’s heyday, Downer were an entirely different proposition; a real obscurity amongst nu-metal era releases, the only release by L.A.’s Downer is an alternative metal anomaly that seems to have been utterly lost to the annals of time.
There’s a cold, dry sound to Downer that actually works in their favour. The unique vocals of J. Scott (whose delivery mixes a strangely robotic monotonous tone with a devious sense of melody) and the inventive staccato nu-metal riffing (you won’t find too many solos here) appear workmanlike on the surface but slyly work their way under your skin.
“Weed Eater” packed a vocal hook big enough to reel in a walrus and the incessant pace of “Last Time” was an in-your-face moment of malevolent melody overflowing with barely restrained menace. A true alternative to the majority of Roadrunner Records’ output in the early 00’s, Downer is a sorely underrated and misunderstood nu-metal time capsule.