Weekly Roundup: February 13th
Featuring Scowl, Witch Ripper, DRAIN, and more.
A curated selection of cool shit for you to listen to.
Scowl – “Opening Night”
It’s been a break-out few years from Santa Cruz hardcore outfit Scowl. Their debut LP, 2021’s How Flowers Grow, was released to wide acclaim, and the group followed that record’s release with non-stop touring, including a wild set at last year’s Sound and Fury fest and a run of shows supporting nu-metal godfathers Limp Bizkit. Their upcoming EP, Psychic Dance Routine, out April 7th through Flatspot Records, is set to push the group’s boundaries by bridging their hardcore and alternative sounds. Watch the rollicking clip for the EP’s lead single, “Opening Night,” below:
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Dream, Inertia – Ephemeral
Brisbane/Meanjin-based sonic crusaders Dream, Inertia have been generating a lot of local buzz lately. After listening to their new Ephemeral EP (out now through the good folks at Team Glasses Records), it’s easy to see why. The group peddle a molten mix of post-hardcore, skramz, and blackgaze sounds–picture some really happy sad vocals with lush instrumentals that can suddenly flip and go viscerally dark and ominous at a moment’s notice. Stream the EP in full here (Bandcamp/Spotify).
Burner – “Hurt Locker”
Burner are back, baby! We’re finally getting the first taste of new music from the UK-based death metal/hardcore quartet following their critically-acclaimed debut EP, A Vision Of The End (released last year via Church Road Records). Their latest single is called “Hurt Locker,” and talking about the inspiration behind the track, the band says:
“This is a song about every unjust war and the people forced to fight in them. About wars where innocent people have to die, and propaganda hides the truth about conflict. This song is dedicated to the Ukrainian people, fighting a war they shouldn't have to, and the Russian civilians and soldiers that chose to resist their tyrannical government.”
Listen to “Hurt Locker” here.
Samiam – Stowaway
Oakland punk rockers Samiam have announced their first new album in 12 years(!). Now, that’s a long time away from the stage, but their new record is called Stowaway, and it’s out on March 31st through Pure Noise Records. They’re a seminal punk outfit, going all the way back to 1988, meaning they’re as old as I am (lol). I’m sure there’re plenty of reasons for a decade-plus down period between records, including the pandemic, all the members living in different states, etc. Still, the band’s new tracks are super catchy and energetic, so it’s nice to hear them back to their old tricks again. Stream the LP’s pre-release singles here (Bandcamp/Spotify).
Homebody – “Hindsight”
I hadn’t heard of the Tuscaloosa alt-rock duo Homebody until last week. The band hit me up directly and wanted to shout out their new single. So, I indulged them and was pleasantly surprised with the result. It’s exactly my kind of post-hardcore/alternative crossover, bringing to mind stuff from acts like Hopesfall or even Aussie boys The Comfort. The band’s debut LP, Stranger To Yourself, dropped last year, so here’s hoping this is the first taste of a new project to come down the pike. Listen to “Hindsight” here.
DRAIN – Living Proof
Santa Cruz hardcore outfit DRAIN recently finished their first Australian tour supporting Comeback Kid, and the shows looked absolutely wild. Their full-length debut, California Cursed, was one of my favourite records of 2020, and their sophomore LP and Epitaph Records debut, Living Proof, is dropping on May 5th. There are two singles out already, and they both rip, so I can’t wait to hear the full record. Stream the LP’s pre-release singles here (Bandcamp/Spotify).
Initiate – “Alone At the Bottom”
Keeping things Cali- and hardcore-focused, Initiate are hinting at their as-yet-untitled album coming out via Triple B Records later this year. To tie fans over, the quintet released their first taste of the record, “Alone At The Bottom,” and it’s a rollicking, melodic hardcore rager with a great sense of groove and melody. If this single is anything to go off of, this single is a strong sign of what's to come on a new full-length project. The video for the track is gorgeous, too, and perfectly matches the vibe and aesthetic of the group. Check it out below:
Witch Ripper – The Flight After the Fall
I originally found Witch Ripper by accident, stumbling through random Bandcamp pages in the Long, Long Ago of 2012. Well, the Seattle heavy metallers are finally coming back with new material, and their sophomore full-length, The Flight after the Fall, will be out on March 3rd through Magnetic Eye Records. While the band’s older material harnessed the guitar-focused aggression of acts like Baroness and Mastodon, this new LP is billed as maintaining “their brutal roots while embracing the arena rock bombast of Queen and David Bowie, the exuberant modern prog of Coheed and Cambria and Muse.” So, we can likely expect big riffs and even bigger hooks. Stream the LP’s pre-release singles here (Bandcamp/Spotify).
Listen to all these tracks and more on the TPD 2023 CUTS playlist, updated weekly.
A closer, more in-depth look at a new record that ticks all my boxes.
Paramore – This Is Why
I think it’s fair to say that I don’t need to introduce Paramore or their latest album, This Is Why, to readers of this fine newsletter. You’ve likely already listened to this record and may have formed your own opinion on it… If so, let me know. Okay? Engagement is key. But I digress… I’ll say upfront that the trio’s sixth LP is not my favourite record in their discography. It’s got some strong singles, but as an album, the sequencing feels a little uneven and front-heavy, which means there is some “mileage may vary” going on in the back half.
That said, however, tracks like “Figure 8” and closer “Thick Skull” do feature warm instrumental textures and curious lyrical flourishes from frontwoman Hayley Williams, with more than enough juice to keep me enthralled. As critic Arielle Gordon put it in her middling review of the record for Pitchfork:
“Paramore’s sixth album, This Is Why, trembles with the paranoid anxieties of a grown woman peering outside her bubble: a bit out of step, a bit pollyanna, but all the more furious at the status quo.”
BrooklynVegan editor Andrew Sacher joined us on the Pitch pod last week for a great Deep Cuts episode, where we discussed our teenage love for blink-182, their untitled record’s rich stylistic diversity, and what could have been had the original line-up persevered into the late 2000s. Check it out below: