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Downtown Singapore

Title: What She Said
Directed by: Directed and produced by Tyler Lambert
Label: DCide Records
Hometown: Waldorf, MD, USA

Downtown Singapore

"We're a rock band," states guitarist/back-up vocalist Matt "Spud" Van Gasbeck of his band Downtown Singapore. "Our influences are probably the same as all the bands in the post-punk realm, and those bands have influenced us as well, but whether or not that's what we sound like or what we get called is incidental. We just want to rock." The Waldorf, MD fivesome does just that, shying away from labels that might limit the potential of their music. After five years of various line-ups, dating back to high school for the original members, that potential is finally being realized. Aided by the talents of producer Matt Squire (Panic! at the Disco, The Receiving End of Sirens), Downtown Singapore (who culled their name from a thrasher skate magazine article about  skating in that very location) has created Don’t Let Your Guard Down, a layered and truly solid debut album that reveals evident growth from their 2005 EP,Understanding a Guarantee. Don't Let Your Guard Down is a diverse collection of 12 tracks that range from the quiet ballad of "Teresa Rizal" to the thumping rocker of "Pose Up". "After touring we were opened up to a lot of new influences from other bands on the road," singer Jerry Scott explains. "He Is Legend is a big one. It gave us that more rock 'n' roll feel on some of the songs. It's still 'Downtown Singapore' though." Don't Let Your Guard Down draws on a vast wealth of influences that include the Deftones, Cave In and Jimmy Eat World, and is driven by the quintet's use of three guitars, Matt Thorsen's heavy-hitting drums and Scott's remarkably clear voice. On "Choirboy," an obvious standout track, Downtown Singapore is joined by Larry Soliman, friend and singer of My American Heart, resulting in an incredibly melodic, subtly hooky song that sounds like the product of a very practiced band. That sense of growing experience isn't an illusion; the group has been on the road for the past year after signing to Washington, DC-based indie DCide Records, playing with bands like The All American Rejects, Emery, Hidden In Plain View and hellogoodbye and slowly fostering a kind of tightness that only comes with practice. "I think we're a lot more solid since we've been out on the road touring," Scott says. "We definitely are one with our instruments now and we're a lot better at communicating with our audience." Being on the road for so long, including a recent nationwide stint on the Punk the Clock tour, doesn't mean the band has forgotten their roots. Downtown Singapore recorded Don't Let Your Guard Down in Squire's College Park, MD studio and feels a strong kinship with their hometown. "Being from the Maryland/ D.C. area is a huge influence," guitarist Jake Rabadi says. "Lack of a music scene has helped because it forced us to find our own sound and our own scene rather than try to fit into some specific genre." There is certainly no denying that Downtown Singapore has succeeded in finding their own unique voice, always remaining focused on creating good music rather than trying fit in. "We don't wear girl pants," Scott says. "We try not to fall in any scene. All we want to do is play rock 'n' roll for kids who like our music." Mission accomplished.
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