Saturday, April 23, 2011

Come Down

I feel that I need to do this entry.  In part because I said I would in response to the post that Mike put up on the Here On This Island Blog, and because Come Down were a band that I was friends with and wrote some incredible music.  Unfortunately, I feel that my preparation for the task is lacking, and that Come Down's bassists/keyboardist will call me out on any and every  inconsistent detail, my grammar, my manhood and who knows what else.  Nevertheless, I will give it a shot.

Come Down grew out of the ashes of In Transit in 2000.  Mark Pernice and Scott Altmann were both guitarists for that band and wanted to distance themselves from that band's post-hardcore style.  They were introduced to drummer Nicole Kieper, who had recently left On the Might of Princes.  Nicole brought in Tom Mallon, a friend and co-worker from their CMJ jobs and they pursued a sound that was distinctly shoe-gaze and atmospheric with influences like Curve, My Bloody Valentine and Verve evident.  I believe that their first show was with The Cotton Weary at a place in Merrick that I can't remember for the life of me.  I think it was the Courthouse, but we always referred to it as "Dog on A Barstool" since there happened to be a fairly mangy looking mongrel sitting at the bar and looking none-to-pleased to be there every time we played the venue.  In any case, it is now is home to a Subway instead.

Needless to say, theirs was not the type of music that the scene was accustomed to and they were greeted by often cold responses on Long Island.  One listen though to the band's first effort, the EP "Sender" will have you scratching your head as there is certainly more than enough rock to go around and live they had a undeniable energy thanks to Nicole absolutely murdering the drums.

They followed up Sender shortly afterwards with another 4 Song Ep on a mini-disc called "Whose Side Are You on Anyway?", which featured the eponymous tune which became something of the band's signature song.  This EP so the songs get a bit more intricate songs and featured continually improving singing from Mark.  They followed this with the "Happy Hunting" EP which they did a limited release of.

They were offered a week-long tour of the UK, which they did and they released a live set on their website which showed the range and depth of the new stuff they were writing such as the partially acoustic "You Are Not A Song."

An influx of different factors made the band decide to call it quits in 2004.  Scott had a child on the way, Tom planned to move to Philadelphia to live with his fianc√©, and Nicole was in a relationship with Keith Childrey (who she would eventually marry) from a band from Tennessee called Imaginary Baseball League.  By this point they had sworn off playing on Long Island and played a final set at Pianos in NYC.  The final set had a few technical difficulties, one which saw the usually low-key Altmann fight back against a non-functioning wah pedal by tossing it off the stage.  Other than that, it was a great set that I was glad to be there to see.

The band would record a song via file transfer after this show that surfaced as "Strange Places" on their myspace.  There were more tracks intended that were not completed.  I have included several of the tracks from the unreleased album as there is some really fantastic stuff.  The playing on the tracks is top notch but  there is the unfortunate lack of vocals on it. I freely admit that I think I've ripped off Scott's riffs a few times, and I think I recently cribbed something from "How I Got There."

Tom Mallon went on to join Sleep Dept., Scott and Mark both concentrated on their art careers but have recently began a new project called No Yes No which feature both Tom and Nicole's playing.  Nicole moved to Tennessee and currently is better known as Nicole Childrey.  She has played in several different projects including Sleeptalker, Cassino, Destry, Brendon Benson, and more recently with The Mynabirds, Aaron Robinson and Field Days.

Many thanks to Scott Altmann and Tom Mallon for providing some of the missing pieces for this post.

Here are the tracks.

COME DOWN - Sender EP/Whose Side Are You On Anyway? EP/Happy Hunting EP/Strange Places:

COME DOWN - Live in London/More Live Tracks/Unfinished Album Tracks:

Here is the band's myspace:

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