Digital Down: “Nervous System” – a dark, atmospheric record

Digital Down is in electronic industrial artist from small town, USA. They recently won 2nd place in an international music contest sponsored by Linkin Park. Lead by Melville Bragg, the project has released the 6 track EP entitled “Nervous System”. Their sound incorporates rock, electronic, dark wave, and emotional rock ‘n’ roll. The lyrics are thoughtful, and the production of the music is excellent, and there is variation from song to song.  A cold feeling passes through me each time I listen to “Nervous System”. The fairly impenetrable wall of sound Digital Down created here is admirable, especially since everything is presented in just a few tracks.

At the same time, I wish there were more tracks, mainly because I am used to long industrial-type records. Hopefully, this is only a sample of what Digital Down have in store for us. The current direction would be extremely interesting to be further explored on a more ambitious project.

“Nervous System” is a dark, atmospheric record, showing a thick, haunting industrial groove. It’s apparent that Melville Bragg really just wants to release the best music possible. This EP proves that the quality is there, and the music is addicting. Digital Down knows how to make an enveloping tune as perfected and excellent as possible, so great that if you rip the track down to its bare bones and reconstruct it, it’s still one hell of a track. “Nervous System” is a testament to that statement.

The EP is an adventure from the start, all the way to the end. Each track offers an interesting narrative with emphasis on heavy bass, quirky electronics, and moody vocals. There’s something viscerally fascinating about this recording, due to the fact that it sounds like the equivalent of someone bottling up his emotion and then smashing that bottle against a wall as hard as possible before rubbing their hands in the remnants of the glass.

With all the metaphors for society present in each of his stories, Digital Down usually sings in the first person, yet it’s hard to avoid the impression that he’s cast himself in the role of an every-man, speaking for all of us.

The lyrical imagery created, the way that the music backs it up: That’s what gives this record its power. It’s evident on “Amphetamine”, “Positivity For A Masochist” and “With No Eyes”, that the path the EP goes on is one that creates moments of sheer brilliance and unique songwriting.

As the record progresses, different instruments and tonal approaches are used in various ways to create an overall package of abstract sound and truly alternative industrial. Listen to the track “Nervous System”, to understand how diverse this project is from similar bands.

The EP, “Nervous System” meanders into so many different emotional feels and original atmospheres that to even conceive a linear direction in terms of lyrical approach adds even more to the mysterious theme. And in fact the idea of mystery in every facet of the EP is what proves its brilliance.


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