Fuck You Pay Me - Dumbed Down
Released by: Tankcrimes Records
Released on: March 24th, 2017.
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Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, Fuck You Pay Me is made up of Tony Erba up front on vocals, Aaron Dowell on guitar, Alex Balmer on bass and Steve Callahan on drums. These guys don't screw around, they play fairly traditional hardcore influenced by the likes of Poison Idea and Negative Approach. As such, things are a little sloppy at times, but that's okay, because sometimes it's good to be sloppy. Rust belt punk has always been nasty and dirty and angry - these guys continue that tradition, and they do it really, really well.
Dumbed Down starts the album off right. At just under three minutes this title track starts off with some heavy riffing but thirty-five seconds in it's all blast beats and ferociously angry vocals. Like the best hardcore, the chorus is easy to get into and sing along to, but it is clear from the start this band doesn't pull any punches. It's also seriously catchy. Ammosexual is up next, at just under two minutes in length, and somehow it's faster and more pissed off than the first track, but again, it retains those same qualities with the catchy chorus and rhythmic backbone. Erba's vocals are downright deranged here, and there's a killer breakdown towards the end that segues into the chorus one last time before it all comes crashing down with a beautifully howled 'suckkkkmydickkkkk!'
Opt Out starts out with a sample and then kicks you in the balls, with seventy-four seconds of righteous anger, which is followed up by the eighty nine second Dark Side Of The Spoon, which has nothing to do with Pink Floyd at all, thankfully, because Pink Floyd and hardcore simply do not mix. This track is bad ass, the drums are insane and just beat you in the back of the head over and over again, while Dowell's wonderfully repetitive strumming anchors the track, while Balmer's bass playing gets thick and sticky, especially towards the end, allowing Erba to really go off.
Saint Dorner is two minutes of fast, powerful, angry punk rock played fast and furious with a slick chorus and more over the top pissed off vocals from Erba, while the ninety-nine second Douche Chills of being punched in the ears over and over again, it just doesn't let up and it's the fastest, most intense track on the record. It's also the most fun to sing along to. Steubenville City Limits is a sixty-two second blaster about life in the mid-west, and it ain't pretty at all. In fact, it's pretty fucking ugly, but in all the right ways - "rapist, rapist rapist, we know your name!"
Moving towards the finish, 50 White Dudes With Machetes/Crisis Actors is positively epic, compared to everything else here, chiming in at just a few seconds shy of the four minute mark. Though it starts off with some sample from a newscast about gang violence, it quickly segues into a diatribe about - fifty white dudes with machetes - and the problems that such a situation can cause. This track is interesting because while it stays in the same mold as everything else on the record, it sees FYPM branch out a bit, using some humor and razor sharp social commentary to rag on the state of union and quite likely the state of their own local scene. It all ends with a seriously heavy instrumental segment that just bulldozes you, then throws it into reverse and rolls over you again, with Erba's vocals again serving as the fucked up icing on the urinal cake. Last but not least, You Hate Me And I Hate You is an anthemic ninety-six second rager that'll have you singing along and pumping your fist and pissing off your neighbors in no time. This is definitely the catchiest song on the record, and in some ways the most accessible as it's just impossible to get out of your head once you hear it. At the same time, it's gleefully antisocial and irrepressibly nasty.