First things first: Fuck You Pay Me (FYPM) is a brilliant band name.
Second things second: Dumbed Down is the kind of hardcore that reminds me why I fell in love with the genre in my youth; and why so few hardcore bands these days leave an impression on me. Dumbed Down has all of the energy and righteous anger that is missing from so much hardcore, backed up with riffs that recall the classics from the 80’s, all wrapped up in a rough’n’ready production.
Dumbed Down might not do anything new with the template of American hardcore, but instead it’s a reminder of why simply playing good quality songs with a lot of passion can be more than enough. Songs like ‘Ammosexual’ strike the right balance of humour and political point that the likes of the Dead Kennedys used to do, whilst the breakdown in the middle of ‘Dark Side of the Spoon’ is simply brilliant. The only negative about the record is that it brings home the realisation that we’re still fighting many of the same battles in Trump’s America and Brexit UK as older generations were in the time of Reagan and Thatcher. Still, as far as soundtracks to the struggle against injustice go, it’s hard to do better than Dumbed Down.