Far, far, FAR too much boring metalcore this month. What is it with that genre that makes it so incredibly easy to do so badly? Anyway, check out Lower Than Atlantis, Marmozets, Frnkiero, Rob Lynch, Superheaven, Creeper, Solemn Sun and Code Orange for something a bit different.
Lower Than Atlantis – Here We Go
Despite them being around for seven years, I’ve never heard a note of Lower Than Atlantis’s work. Baffling. Sharing similarities with Deaf Havana, this is melodic rock in all its fist-clenching glory. Credit to the grinding bass, which is the dripping, meaty backbone to counteract the bouncing, almost pop-punk joy that radiates from vocalist Mike Duce, who, has a great set of pipes. Not massively original, but it’s got those important hooks and frankly, to stick out in this market, that’s what’s more-or-less essential and Lower Than Atlantis should be reeling in the punters.
Marmozets – Why Do You Hate Me?
This is less full on hardcore screaming and smashing stuff up – instead, Marmozets nail catchy, aggressive metallic rock with some scything guitar lines and a blisteringly heavy rhythm section, not to mention singer Becca Macintyre’s impressive vocal yelps. This is a raucous, tumbling racket of JCQ-style rock ‘n roll excitement and tight, creative energy.
Motionless In White (feat. Dani Filth) – Puppets 3 (The Grand Finale)
Inexplicably popular with the kids who look like they fell out of a Tim Burton convention probably. There’s A LOT going on here and it’s fucking shithouse to say the least. The production is beyond awful – the only thing that actually stands out is the drums and some vague synths, but everything else collides together in a confused and muddy mix of garish, barely-listenable noise. Nothing can save this, not even one-time, low-budget movie star and goth-hobbit, Dani Filth.
Frnkiero andthe Cellabration – Joyriding
Irritating band naming aside, I really, really like this. Ex-My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero decides to go balls-out bonkers on this 2 and a half minute of keeping-you-guessing, punk rock scramble. The spliced in drum-machine patterns, dirty guitar-smashing chorus of distorted, overlapping vocals and cathartic blasts of wild, untamed energy tick all the right boxes – forgetting liking, I love this. Awesome stuff.
Rob Lynch – My Friends And I
It’s too bad it’s not summer any more, because Rob Lynch’s upbeat folk-pop goodness would soundtrack such sickeningly sugary antics such as kite flying, instagramming fucking massive bits of wood at the beach and doing shots in a beer garden. Seriously though, you’ve got to have a heart made of stone not to feel warmed by Lynch’s London-drawl, backed by some spirited piano, acoustic guitar and punk-ish backing “woah oohs” – absolutely joyful.
Superheaven – Life In A Jar
Let’s do some of them riffs then – Superheaven have a got a truckload on offer, ready to dump on your doorstep. Previously known as Daylight, Superheaven (a much better name) are bringing 90’s grunge back, along with heaps of nostalgia and they sound massive. Huge walls of crushing power chords slam into gnarled bass strumming along with some Kerbdog-style metallic rock action and breathless, echoing vocals – superb.
Creeper – Gloom
Odd vocal inflection on Creeper’s frontman, which isn’t a bad thing, far from it and three cheers for not trying to do a fake American accent. This is punk rock from the heart, with an early 2000’s upbeat bounce, circa The Bouncing Souls and Pulley; some terrific backing vocals that compliment the dramatic flourishes and intricate guitar work. For such a new band (ex-Our Time Down Here) there’s a lot of maturity and gusto on offer and new and old punk rock fans are going to lap this up.
Solemn Sun – Josef
Of Jim Lockey fame, now just Solemn Sun – the folk punk has been jettisoned like an Alien in an airlock and replaced with creeping darkness. Think Devil and God-era Brand New and their most gut-wrenching and taunt. Josef is a pensive and brooding shift of scrawled, stuttering atmospherics and gloom-rock angst.
Violet – Car Rides and the Passenger Side
Nothing is going to save this – from the pre-pubescent nasal vocal bleats, to the ugly keyboard mashing, to the sixth-form post-shitcore stagnation. Still better than Motionless In White – you can slap that on your press release, lads.
Syren City – Our Disease
There’s some killer grooves in this (around the 1.40 mark), which are sadly, over too soon. Incredibly well polished and produced. The vocals aren’t my cup of tea and let this down somewhat, whilst the instrumentation changes from some interesting punk rock aesthetics to rather drab alt-rock in others. There’s promise here, but I’m left unconvinced which is a shame, as some of those riffs are damn meaty.
The Valiant – No Surrender
Dragging metalcore kicking and screaming through Southampton – The Valiant are here with gurgling bass, strangulated guitars and Tortuga-style shredding amongst this amalgamation of jagged noise. At the better end of the spectrum, this is reasonably gutsy, defiant and brimming with rasping disdain.
Code Orange – I Am King
Jarring, uncomfortable and savage. Code Orange are a harsh, wailing screech of turmoil and scrambled, malevolent pain. Barely tuned guitars, they simply shriek an unsettling dirge of gutter-hardcore-meets noise rock distortion. When it does go all beatdown mode, it’s still utterly repugnant and chaotic and loses none of its malice and hate. New levels of seething and barbarism delivered in 2 and a half minutes of grim darkness.
When We Were Wolves – Dying On The Inside
After Code Orange, When We Were Wolves need to fucking step up their game, seriously. Rage and intensity burns on this aggressive, disjointed metal-meets-hardcore pulverizing and they know how to write a chorus that will have the hardcore kids, raising their fists and chanting to the sky. What lets it down is the formulaic nature, but there’s room for improvement – I mean, they even somewhat parody this with the weighty beatdown near the end and cries of “WE! ARE! ALL! BORN! THE! SAME!” – They do kill it with the gang vocals though, so props to that.
Prolong The Agony – Dead Dreams
Meat in the room. Nothing more to add, move along. *Area covered in police tape.*
These Days Are Numbered – I Refuse
The intro was the best bit about this – the mangled vocal bleat of “I REFUSSEEEAAGFRFGRRGGH” was actually quite decent – you could sense the abject rage. Goes to clownshoes town after that though – some horrible rap-metal belching, phoned-in clean vocals and sloppy, disjointed instrumental passages that tried to sound a bit doom-metal, but were more standard ‘core paint-by-numbers.