Looking Forward Down With the Ship

This is Looking Forwards' first release in seven years and in contrast to the pessimistic title, the EP is a rather triumphant return to form. With six galloping tracks, totalling ten-and-a-half minutes, sandwiched between a 30-second intro and outro, Down With the Ship is a quick hardcore punk album without any excess baggage. The short playtime keeps the ideas fresh, allowing the band to rebound from missteps, such as the album's low point – the melodic opening of "Put Up or Shut Up." Although the standout moments seem to end before they truly begin – the ending breakdown on "Demanding Answers," in particular – the remainder of the album is well executed enough to keep one's attention, even if it's nothing new. Given hardcore's recent upswing in popularity, Looking Forward chose a good time to make their return to the scene and a solid release like Down With the Ship should bring them some attention. (Facedown)