Followers of the blog may have first been introduced to the chaotic hardcore of DEAD KIWIS two weeks ago through a fellow writer’s column giving a shout out to their new single, but today we’re proud to present the entire new EP, Systemic Home Run now to stream. The intro/opening sets the stage: you’re in a dimly lit arcade, smashing buttons while fixated on a screen as retro synths fill your ears. To your right you hear a loud squealing crash and suddenly five crazed Frenchmen come barging into the room, guitars a blazing and begin to violently but methodically destroy the place. This is DEAD KIWIS and if you’re at all into mathcore or chaotic hardcore then it’s a name you’ll want to get familiar with.
The name might make you think down under to New Zealand, but this is indeed another great mathcore group to call France home, who also gave us one of the standouts for me in the genre last year, from the underrated Zapruder. Aside from the synthwave intro and some more synths to start off a later track, this release is pure unrelenting mathcore chaos. There’s no clean vocals or soft sections, and in grindy fashion they’re in and out in 15 minutes over 8 tracks, leaving you slightly disturbed but oddly satisfied. Amongst that chaos however there is some focus. They know when to slow it down (but not too much) and offer a bit of variance in pace and get some serious stank-face heavy grooves going on. At times the riffs take a bit of a southern-flare, not too unlike Every Time I Die, but they stick to what they’re good at and never feel the need to force in any choruses. The vocals are consistent and about what one expects style wise from the genre, but they’re unwavering in emotion and power and tie each track together.
While it’s not the type of mathcore that only strictly seasoned mathcore fans will love, there’s enough insanity splattered across to appeal to them too. The technicality is seriously impressive, near rivaling the Frontierer’s and Danza’s of the scene, while being accented by an extremely tight mix and mastering job. The entire range of the guitar is balanced and clear, with enough crunch to punch you in the gut but the gain to dazzle you across the entire fretboard. You never really know what you’re going to get next on this EP, even within a 30 second cut-out of a song, yet within that unpredictability the drumming keeps everything right where it’s supposed to be. Plus, I mean, just look at that album art. That is what mathcore is all about. If Systemic Home Run is just the start of what 2019 has to offer us this year for the genre it’s going to be a damn good year.