“How dare you call me beautiful when you spent my whole life fabricating flaws?” shouts Downtrodder’s Kate Meyer on the opening track of II, the band’s second release. This record begins with raw, dumbfounded rage about beauty standards and ends with an anti-Trump screed (not the first anti-Trump track on this record).
Recorded in New Brunswick, N.J., this is a no-nonsense LP, true to genre and deeply defiant toward the world in which we now live. “They taught snap judgments based on hemlines, hair and skin and nails, but we just don’t buy it. It’s our choice and we like it,” Meyer roars on “Unwinnable Game.” It’s tough but it’s not raw–everyone in this band knows just what they’re doing, and that’s rad.
II is a slice-of-life manifesto from a world full of collapsed industry, dumb advertising copy, and unfulfilled promises. While some might find this straightforward approach heavy-handed, it fits just right for a hardcore punk band, and we need it now more than ever. Meyer’s lyrics are a reminder to live in rejection of destructive principles that fragment us and do us no justice; I hope Downtrodder’s listeners hear that message loud and clear.