.............. Weekly Planet's Best of the Suncoast.. BEST ROCK BAND.. The Downshifters....
Rock and Roll isn't dead, and won't be as long as the Downshifters exist.
Combining searing guitar, an upright bass and machine gun drumming, these guys play the kind of music mothers warn their daughters about.
Inspired by everything from Social Distortion and Johnny Cash to a 327 with a high-rise intake and chrome sidepipes. There's never a dull moment when the Downshifters hit the stage.
You’ve gotta respect The Downshifters. They’re nice enough guys, but if their music’s too noisy for your tender baby-ears, that’s just too bad.
They rock loud and heavy, and their off-kilter brand of rockabilly is more refreshing than a fat swig of PBR down your gullet.
Singer Paxton Richards’ voice is reminiscent of Motorhead frontman Lemmy Killmister’s gravelly snarl, while drummer Scott Dyers skinbashing is louder than a pack of Harleys.
Ross Godfrey's thunking basslines are themselves a greaser’s dream, a nostalgia trip for fans of early Elvis and the Man in Black.
The bandmembers themselves are as tough as their songs; back in March, Dyers gallbladder could (according to the band’s delightfully candid website) “no longer stand the abuse, so it jumped ship.”
Soon after, however, the guys were back in top form, playing shows to enthusiastic crowds.
Their badassness has graced such recent multi-band outings as the Rosemary Rocks for Earl benefit, the Atomic Rockabilly Rumble, the Heavy Rebel Weekender and the band’s own Heatstroke Hotrod Hoedown.
They’re like the incorrigible kid in class who always talked back to the teacher — you know they need to adjust their attitude, but if they did, what fun would that be?