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Classic Album Review: Zero Down | With a Lifetime to Pay

The L.A. crew charge out of the gate with 13 slices of primo SoCal skate-punk.

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This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


This Los Angeles popcore trio’s debut disc has a title so perfect, you have to wonder what they’re gonna call the followup. And I sincerely hope there’s gonna be one — these guys have too much going for them to stop at one album.

Led by former Pulley and Strung Out member Jim Cherry, Zero Down come charging out of the gate with 13 slices of primo SoCal skate-punk, complete with Marshall-stack crunch, anti-establishment sloganeering and anthemic skateboard melodicism. What sets them apart from the pack are Cherry’s vocals — he has Joey Ramone’s throaty pinhead croon, mixed with a shot of Dexter Holland’s soaring yell — and the rock-solid drumming of former Down by Law stickman Milo Todesco, whose strict timekeeping and inventive licks keep the band from getting stuck in the 100-mph-polka-beat rut. It should be more than enough to keep you occupied until they can think up a title for their second album.