Home Read Classic Album Review: Shutdown | Few and Far Between

Classic Album Review: Shutdown | Few and Far Between

The New Yorkers fuse punk aggression and propulsion with touches of heavy metal.

This album came out two decades ago. Here’s what I had to say about it back then (with some minor editing):


Singers as distinctive as Shutdown’s Mark Scondotto are indeed few and far between. With his mile-high caterwaul of eye-bulging intensity, the frontman of this New York hardcore quartet has a sound somewhere between a hyperactive teen throwing a tantrum and a torture victim.

Either way, he isn’t giving up without a fight, as defiant lyrics like “You’ll never get the best of me” make perfectly clear. As if titles like No Compromise, Afraid to Fair, Necessary Means and Don’t Forget the Struggle, Don’t Forget the Streets don’t already tell you where these guys are coming from. That never-say-die approach comes through equally clearly in the music, which amends the aggression and propulsion of New York hardcore with touches of heavy metal — chugging power chords, barking backup vocals and tunes with more syncopation and intricacy than punk’s typical two-step bludgeon. Then again, it’s no wonder their music is distinctive — they have to be just to keep from being overshadowed by their singer.