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Weekly Roundup: March 20th
Featuring Pupil Slicer, Incendiary, Trophy Eyes, and more.
A curated selection of cool shit for you to listen to.
Pupil Slicer – “Blossom”
Heavy merchants Pupil Slicer have been quiet as of late. The London group built up considerable hype off of 2021’s Mirrors, and now they’ve officially confirmed their upcoming second LP, Blossom, due out on June 2nd via Prosthetic Records. Vocalist/guitarist Kate Davies describes their new album as a “hard sci-fi/cosmic horror concept album” detailing “the final point beyond time and space, a nexus of everything that could have been and a vantage point into everything that came before.” Watch the video for “Blossom” below:
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Hoon – Australian Dream
Dharawal/Wollongong-based garage-punk act Hoon are a new band on my radar. They’ve got a new single out called “Fried,” and it features on the quartet’s debut studio album, Australian Dream, due out on April 14th. The band describe this new banger as “three minutes of high-octane punk, bursting with angular, distorted guitars, rabid drums and the ruthless vocals.” It’s super fun and high-energy, and I’m keen to hear what they can do on a full-length project. Stream the LP’s pre-release singles here (Spotify).
Spotlights – “Sunset Burial”
I first encountered Pittsburgh-based outfit Spotlights through their Tidals EP (2016), which is fantastic and comes highly recommended for fans of spacey and lush heavy music. The trio are now gearing up for the upcoming release of their Alchemy for the Dead LP for Ipecac Recordings on April 28th. Two singles are already out and featured alongside three bonus tracks on the digital-only Seance EP. Consequence describes these new singles as invoking “Nine Inch Nails and the densely mixed recordings of Failure, melding elements of industrial, sludge metal, and dark alt-rock,” which sounds spot on to me. (Pun intended.) Listen to “Sunset Burial” here.
Single Mothers – Roy
It was only a few months ago that Canadian punk rockers Single Mothers released their Everything You Need album. Now, I thought that particular record was succinct and enjoyable, but it seems the Ontario quartet aren’t content to rest on their laurels, as they’ve already announced a new full-length follow-up. Their fifth LP is titled Roy and will see release through Dine Alone Records on April 28th. Stream the LP’s pre-release singles, including a stellar two-track teaser, here (Bandcamp/Spotify).
Blood Command – “Losing Faith”
After dropping two surprise covers of classic 80s pop bangers, Norwegian death pop outfit Blood Command have released a new single and sonic curveball. “Losing Faith” is an acoustic folky number with duelling vocal lines, with a less hyperactive and more subdued composition than the material on 2022’s Praise Armageddonism LP. It’s raw, stripped back and showcases an exciting, vulnerable side of the band. As the title suggests, the track deals with loss, shame and grief and was written in September last year during their UK/Europe tour run. Listen to “Losing Faith” here.
Incendiary – Change The Way You Think About Pain
Cost of Living, the knockout second LP from NYHC crew Incendiary, turned ten last week. So, it’s fitting that the Long Island brawlers would take this opportunity to announce their latest record, Change The Way You Think About Pain, coming out May 26th through Closed Casket Activities. The album was recorded with man-of-the-moment Will Putney, and according to guitarist Brian Audley:
“The goal with this album was to refine our songwriting and deliver it more aggressively. The expectation for a hardcore band on their fourth LP may be to start sanding the edges off and becoming more polished and anthemic.”
Trophy Eyes – “Blue Eyed Boy”
I’ve been patiently waiting for Aussie pop-punk legends Trophy Eyes to announce their new album for Hopeless Records, and while we’re not quite there yet, we do have a new banger to tie us over. It’s titled “Blue Eyed Boy,” and according to vocalist John Floreani, the track was inspired by a trip back to his hometown in Newcastle:
“One friend in particular, maybe my best friend, had recently moved back and regressed into their old ways. I’d mourned the death of this friend long ago, as did the rest of us in our small social circle. To see him again brought me great childhood joy yet simultaneously an overwhelming sense of dread.”
Check out the clip for “Blue Eyed Boy” below:
Frozen Soul – Glacial Domination
Texan death metallers Frozen Soul are roaring back with the impending release of their sophomore LP, Glacial Domination, out May 19th through Century Media. The album was co-produced by Trivium vocalist/guitarist Matthew Heafy and Daniel Schmuck (that’s ah, *ahem*, an unfortunate name there). This will be the full-throttle follow-up to 2021's Crypt of Ice and is set to further hone in on the Fort Worth quintet's frost-bitten, ice-cold take on traditional death metal. Stream the LP’s pre-release singles here (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.
Invent Animate – Heavener
It’s time for a confession of sorts. I’ve never been a huge fan of the djent-adjacent metalcore trend. You know the type: super low and chunky, down-tuned guitars, pretty lead riffs and twinkly atmospherics, lofty clean vocals mixed with those mid-range growls, topped off with mechanistic percussion—think ERRA, Currents, or older Northlane and Thornhill to a certain degree. It all sounds incredibly samey and uninspired to my more mid-2000s melo-death-inflected ear, which means it takes a lot to grab my attention.
Enter Texas collective Invent Animate. I've seen significant support for the band online, particularly off the back of their 2020 Greyview LP, but I never really understood that level of hype until now, with the release of the band’s expansive fourth album, Heavener. Tracks like “Shade Astray” and “Without a Whisper” utilize the breadth of dynamic range for maximum effect, allowing sonic heaviness to cut through glorious clean passages and moments of flowery brilliance. Elsewhere, deep cuts like “Emberglow” finds Marcus Vik pushing his commanding vocal arrangements into unique places, elevating the band’s compositions beyond expectations for emotive progressive metalcore.
Our latest guest episode of The Pitch pod is one that I was super excited about. I finally got the chance to chat with Mercedes Arn-Horn, one-half of Canadian sensation Softcult. If you’ve been following this newsletter for a year or more, then you’ll know just how much I gush about this band at every opportunity. They’re truly something special, and we run through a dreamy Hit List on this episode, stacked with fuzzed-out foundations and fem-punk ragers that epitomize the group’s anthemic ‘riotgaze’ sound. Check it out below: