Oh shit, another Tear It Up post? Fuck yeah! This time I will talk about Taking You Down With Me record. Download link that I put is from the CD version which I don´t have actually on original CD format but I have it on vinyl and a tape version. That tape was one of the first things that I got from Tear It Up. The tape was released on Drugs Kill Your Mind (what a fucking cool name, haha), a label from Czech Republic. I think it was released in 2004. and it was basically version of Taking You Down With Me CD but there was also first TIU Self Titled 7˝ EP added here (which I already had when I got this tape). Vinyl version I scored much later. I remember when I got that tape, it was like, holy shit, this band is so fucking great and they are already broke up, fuck! But, let´s back on technical stuff first then I will ramble more about my feelings concerning this record.
Taking You Down With Me was recorded in March 2003. at Clearcut Studios, New Jersey (as all the other TIU records except the first demo). This was also the last TIU record and it was released nearly after the band broke up in November 2003. It was released on Havoc Records (run by Felix Havoc, vocalist of Destroy, Code 13 and Damage Deposit, also columnist in some well known hc/punk zines as MRR, HeartattaCk and Profane Existence) which is interesting because Havoc also released TIU first 7˝ EP and then this last TIU record. Production is clean enough (especially the drums has cleaner sound then previous TIU records) but on the other hand also kind of moody (guitars especially). As like all other TIU records, the songs here are blending in together and there is not much rest from the beginning to the end.
The TIU line up here was:
Dave Ackerman – Vocals
Andy Scarpulla – Guitar
John Devlin – Guitar
Ryan Eckert – Bass
Matt Wechter – Drums
That was about Taking You Down With Me vinyl version, but the CD also contains songs (5 tracks) from split 7˝ EP with Down In Flames (sort of TIU brother band where John Devlin also played) and live songs (14 tracks) from Maryland, USA show, on 4th April 2002. There is also on CD a song Number One Wish which was originally released on Skulls 7˝ EP compilation 2001. on Kangaroo Records from Holland. The same song was also released on Suburban Voice Zine compilation CD – No Sleep For Hardcore 2001. Suburban Voice was a great hc/punk zine from Boston, USA done by Al Quint who still writes columns for MRR. This compilation was released with # 45 issue of Suburban Voice which also had interview with Tear It Up. Oh yeah, this song is not on the tape version of Taking You Down With Me, not sure why. Songs from split with Down In Flames and compilation track were recorded in March 2001. and the record was released on Die Hardcore Records from USA and Busted Heads Records from Sweden in 2001. The TIU line up on that record was still the first one with Paul D´elia and Doug Ensel in the band and the live show is the last line up mentioned above. As I´ve said before, The tape version of this CD has also the first TIU 7˝ EP but as I will write more about that record in some future post and now I´m writing about the Taking You Down With Me CD, I won´t say more about that record. Since I don´t have a CD version on original format, I didn´t put photos of the whole cover (only the ones that I found on net) but I did put some more photos of vinyl version and tape version (which is similar to CD version). Also I must say that cover of vinyl version is much superior to CD and tape versions, just my opinion.
Photo from the back cover of Taking You Down With Me
The cover of Taking You Down With Me is nothing but amazing. Yeah, the black cover is kind of cliche for a hc/punk record, but it perfectly fits here. And the photo where you can see in some room one left alive standing band member that killed (or injured) all the other members with a knife. And with title of the record, that is one of the best album covers I ever saw. The image is so powerful, for a moment you even start to wonder is this fake or the band members were really heavily injured, haha. Also, you have to wonder, which member is the killer? My guess is Dave (according to spiderweb tattoo). Also, the question is why would he kill all the other band members? Creepy shit. The back cover has a large photo of TIU rocking somewhere (show or rehearsal, I´m not sure which is). I was always into the classic hc/punk band photos, being rocking live or just posing in some dirty alley or something like that. Yeah, it is a cliche but in a kind of good old school way. I wish these days more hc/punk bands would put photos of them on records (which was kind of usual in the 80´s), so at least I can see what the members look like. So, thumbs up for the back cover of TIU rocking. As I´ve said I don´t own a CD version (if anyone can send me scanned photos of the whole CD cover, that would be great), so I will just mention few more things about the cover of vinyl version. Inside the LP there is sort of mini poster on which are the lyrics and cred list from one side and photos of TIU rocking (each member individually photographed) on the other side. Oh yeah, there are also photos of some cool TIU tattoos. One more thing concerning cover of a vinyl version. There were also limited edition copies of Taking You Down With Me with special package including real knife in the plastic bag along with the LP.
Off shot photo from Taking You Down With Me
OK, let´s move to the time when I first heard this record, which was ten years ago. I remember driving with Fistra (comrade and also vocalist of some Croatian hc/punk bands: Ljubiša Samarđić, AK 47 and Verbalni Delikt) and Fx Px Ox guys from some crappy festival (which sadly still goes on, haha) where we played at the
the morning to a big drunken and fucked up crowd (Fx Px Ox was straight edge
band, but far from typical youth crew or moshy clean cut straight edge bands)
and listening Taking You Down With Me tape that I recently bough. It was just
like mind blowing how this band is so fucking great. I was like, who are these
guys, why they are already broken up, when all of this pain will stop and shit
like that. Well, maybe the band was broken up at the time I got this, but for
me the TIU journey (?) just began. I literally listened to this tape almost
every day for few years in a row. Oh yeah, there was also one frustrating part
with this tape. The first 20 seconds of the first song is missing on tape and
it´s like that on every tape (I checked it out on other tapes from my friends),
haha. So, few years went by when I finally heard the real beginning of the first
song. Taking You Down With Me contains 7 songs so it could be considered as an
mini LP (the songs are much longer then previous TIU EP stuff). It is the most
dark TIU release and the most Black Flag sounding TIU release. Also it is
interesting that their last record sounds like that, like if they knew when
they were recording it that it will be their last one (mind you that TIU played
for 6 more months after this recording). Lyrics are pissed off as on the first
TIU release but maybe also more personal and as I´ve said before, more dark. So,
most of the lyrics here are dealing with some inner demons and emotions with
some self critics. Some lyrics are dealing with losing friends which also kind
of predict the end of the band. I mean just look at the titles: Everybody Hates
Me, In Case You Didn´t Notice, I´m a Martyr, One Down Me To Go, Taking You Down
With Me, When Will It Stop… Some heavy shit man. Again the stuff that I can
still identify deeply. Musically, songs on this record are maybe the most
varied of all TIU releases. Yes, there are still fast ones (A Higher Standard,
In Case You…& Here´s Your Honesty) but even those has lots of variations
and arrangements. There are two more rockish slower mid tempo songs: Everybody
Hates Me & One Down Me To Go (both songs are amazing) and two even more
slower and noisy in Black Flag vein: Taking You Down With Me (which is a great
instrumental) & When Will It Stop (perfect ending of a perfect band?)?
Also, there is slight of contrast, A side sounding more light and B side
sounding more dark, even though, the whole record is more dark than positive.
What a perfect and fucked up record.
Taking You Down With Me test press LP
Taking You Down With Me test press LP
Taking You Down With Me CD
Special knife limited edition vinyl version of Taking You Down With Me
The Down In Flames songs were from the earlier TIU period, so most of the songs are very fast and pissed off, only That Life song is not a fast one and is kind of different and more Black Flag-ish than the rest of the songs. Production is classic, clear but enough dirty so nothing sounds too polished. I love this record/session, it is so pumping and angry that you just wanna throw some furniture and stuff out of the window while listening this. Themes on these songs are mostly personal shit (That Life, Torn Apart & Number One Wish), but also some critics like License, Registration And Insurance Please which is kind of anti cop/state song and It´s Fucking Dead which is critic of people wanting to hear Dead Nation songs (previous band of most of the TIU members). Also, first song Down In Flames is a cover of Down In Flames (who would guessed, haha) and on this split, Down In Flames covered TIU song – I Don´t Care That I´m Falling Apart. I think That TIU did slight of a better job and that song is so awesome. Also, I must say that song Number One Wish is so perfect that I don´t have words to describe perfection of this short and damaging song. Just 20 seconds of perfection, that´s it. It´s also interesting how that song wasn´t on tape version of Taking You… but I had the song on some tape that I recorded from a friend who got it from a friend and it was home made mixed hardcore punk tape.
TEAR IT UP & DOWN IN FLAMES from Sudden Death Zine # 2.5 - a photo issue
And now let´s talk about the live tracks. As I´ve said, it is a recorded show (from a dictaphone or something) that TIU played in Maryland, on some college on 4th April 2002. OK, I probably listened these live tracks more than studio side of the tape (or am I talking about the CD here, haha) and you bet I listened to this countless times. So, I know every fucking sentence, every noisy sound, every tuning between the songs on this recording and you can wake me up in the middle of the night and ask me to recite you anything from this recording and I will do it without blinking once. And the fact that is not a soundboard recording is even better, it sounds perfect to me, it´s noisy and energetic so you can really feel the vibe and the energy from the show. It´s almost like you are there at the fucking Tear It Up show in fucking Maryland! It´s also cool how the songs flow, few songs in the row, then some talking (which is hilarious at times, those TIU guys were real jokers) and then again playing few songs in a row, it´s a perfect recipe. The songs here are played perfectly, so pissed off and angry, but then in between the songs you can hear that the guys are pretty positive dudes and not some holier than thou assholes and that this angry and fucked up music was a vent for them to release everything they were feeling and were frustrated with. It is interesting that most of the songs here I´ve heard first in these live versions, only the songs from the first TIU 7˝ EP were familiar to me. Pretty much every TIU song rules but this set list is so great, some of the best TIU songs are here and it´s cool that even in 2002. they still played lots of the early stuff. There is also here an awesome cover of SSD – Get It Away that TIU made even better than original if that is even possible, but obviously with TIU, anything is possible, haha (Holy fuck, while I´m writing this, the said cover just started to play on my PC because I put the shuffle playlist and while I was writing this, these TIU live tracks keep popping out, you just can´t fuck with Tear It Up!). So, when someone say to you: „Also, Think I Care needs a place to stay“, remember that it is a line from this TIU live recording, OK?
TEAR IT UP posing on the couch
The bonus stuff. Again I put some more goodies for you, you can thank me with sending me some Tear It Up stuff, OK? With Taking You Down With Me CD you also get vinyl rip of split 7˝ EP with Down In Flames (including DIF tracks), vinyl rip of Skulls 7˝ EP compilation and No Sleep For Hardcore compilation CD. If you already have Taking You Down With Me rip, download this for extra bonus records + bunch of photos. All Taking You Down With Me tape photos are mine, most of the Taking You Down With Me vinyl photos are mine, split with Down In Flames photos, bunch of them are mine, the rest I stole from the net. As for all other photos, they are mostly from the net. So, enjoy in download and photos. Btw, as I´m writing this, my buddy Henry is sleeping on my bed all covered with Tear It Up records, how sweet is that, haha.
The Snake It Up!
PS – Taking You Down With Me 12˝ EP/CD is still available on Havoc Records, so if you want it, you can get it here: https://www.havocrecords.com/
Get it here:
Bunch of band badges/pins including TEAR IT UP & DOWN IN FLAMES
TEAR IT UP & DOWN IN FLAMES & FRIENDS (first TIU line up)
TEAR IT UP & DOWN IN FLAMES & FRIENDS (the last TIU line up)
TEAR IT UP and some dude behind the mask goofing around after some show
Bunch of posters & flyers that TEAR IT UP & DOWN IN FLAMES played together.
Bunch of TEAR IT UP photos from various shows with later line up