The Downstrokes – This Close to Vertigo

Down-stroke: a technique used by musicians in which the pick only comes in contact with the guitar
strings in the downward motion; generating a tighter and more energetic sound. The Downstrokes definitely live up to their name on their newest release, This Close To Vertigo. This album was co-released by Coffin Curse Records and Allegedly Records and was supported by the Maryland State Art Council in the fall of 2023. 

The gang comes right out of the gate on the first track “Kaput” letting you know this is music meant to make you tap your foot and that you are in for a good time. 

My initial listen through of the album, I got so into the music and bobbing my head that I didn’t even notice that I had listened to the first four tracks. The album flows smoothly from one song to the next, while keeping true to the punk rock spirit with each track telling a story of every day situations. “Got an angel at my right ear, devil at my left. Talking, talking, talking at me wasting all their breathe,” vocalist, Gerry LaFemina, sings at the end of “Moral Dilemma,” summing up the struggle of making those tough life decisions.

The album takes a small turn to a slower and more mellow tone on the pub rock sounding track five, “She.” But fear not, the emotion and intensity built throughout the beginning of the song still shines through. There’s no denying that this is a band that doesn’t just play music, they feel it.

On track seven – they open the throttle with an updated recording of “UFO Baby” (previously released as a single in 2022 b/w Bride Of Frankenstein) telling the listener this album is going out with a bang over the next few closing tracks.

The Downstrokes are instrumental in the scene in western Maryland, with members being part of the

Savage Mountain Punk Arts (SMPA). SMPA is a very active organization promoting punk and it’s role
in the arts. They even throw an annual multi day festival with smaller one night shows sprinkled
through out the year. You never know, they may show up in your hometown. I’ve heard this band will drive for rock n’ roll.

Jason is really not as scary as he looks. He is an avid music lover who goes to as many shows as possible to help support the community. He books bands at The Kennel in York PA, handles A&R for Allegedly Records, likes cats, collects vinyl, and has more band t-shirts than he will ever be able wear

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