At the ‘core’ of my time here at Heavy Blog, I’ve focused on the louder and dirtier genres of music, leaving the pretty stuff for others; and the black and death for folks with better opinions). My only resolution coming into this new year was to write more and write more good. Hopefully, I can achieve one of these things so here we go – first up for 2019 from me is a hot new edition of Rotten To The Core, stuffed to the elastic-waist limits of my Xmas PJs with technical noodling, crunchy grooves, and crossover appeal for days. Former metalcore kids of the world, join me in bringing the old band back together. We’re still here, we’re still wretched, we’re still rotten.
Dead Kiwis Are Bananas – Also Have Feathers
I’m an idiot for seeing “kiwi” and presuming that this lot are from New Zealand. They ain’t. Why we do we that? Nevermind. The home of one of my favourites of last year (Zapruder‘s self-titled megabastard), France is also the resting place of Dead Kiwis, your new favourite mathcore band that’s ready to replace Dillinger or Danza/slide along next to your current mathy muse (Ernia, if anyone is asking). Their new EP Systematic Home Run is out in a few weeks so now is your chance to get accustomed to their particularly punchy brand of piercing, powerful riff mayhem; not to mention a first look at the fantastic art.
Technically stunning, the first two tracks released from the EP, “Rock” and “The Almighty Rektos” are a perfect introduction to the band and their dynamic attack. Like a tornado ripping through a chamber orchestra, there are strings bending, snapping, and flapping all over the place and the percussive elements do well to stay on top of proceedings. The chaos isn’t uncontrolled, yet there are moments where you wouldn’t be surprised if Dead Kiwis were just making it up as they go along. Everything is nice and tight sounding too – the guitars have a near perfect balance of gain and clarity, making the neverending runs and trills pierce through the bedlam. The alien/robot/demon game of dynamite baseball that’s happening on the artwork? Yeah, that’s what this sounds like.
Revolve Strive to Evolve Metal and Hardcore’s Relationship
Scotland’s Revolve play a dark hybrid of European and American ‘core genres that would be at home at a floor show in 2001 but is a critical necessity for fans of thick breakdowns and riffs that will steal the lunch money from the kid who stole yours. There’s a specific slice of a specific generation of music fans that will listen to this next track and get pulled back to the first time they heard that first really crushing metalcore/crossover track. This is a beast of a tune.
“Crown Ov Scorn” batters through NY death metal riffs and ever-increasing guitar harmonies of the more sinister variety, thumping between grooving riffs that swagger and stomp; kick drums machine gunning rhythms for the band to chug and chew through. I can’t help but think of bands like Skinless and Heaven Shall Burn when I listen to this, but as far as I’m concerned those are fucking good comparisons. If those aren’t current enough, then that’s just going to show how timeless this form of battering is. Handled masterfully, as per, by Lewis Glass, “Crown Ov Scorn” is only the first track from the February 1st release, Dragged Into Extinction. If the rest of it sounds as thick and nasty as this, you’ll need a spare pair of chinos. Preferably brown ones.
NoiSays Shove The Math Back Into Mathcore. Repeatedly. And Vigorously.
As there was for fans of early metalcore, there was a Golden Age of math bands in the early 2000s and MySpace was the home of the hordes of fans of jazzy interludes, jingly chord progressions and more post-hardcore influence than anyone was prepared to admit at the time. Sweatier moshers like myself found more comfort in the more metal adjacent bands like Into The Moat, War From a Harlots Mouth and even the earliest offerings from Despised Icon. NoiSays do both. Get you a band that can do both.
From the wonderful Dark Trail Records, NoiSays self-titled release from October last year has been an everpresent in playlists of mine since then. The concoction of insane, whippersnapper metalcore and math-rock guitar tricks is addictive as hell for anyone with the broken attention span of a grindcore superfreak or someone tired of the same butt-chugging, low end heavy “progressive” metal that gets all that needless attention. The band aren’t afraid to embrace the post-hardcore roots of the sound and can make shit dark and moody with the switch of four effects pedals. Tapdancing around the stage must be a lot of fun for their stringed instrumentalists, as much fun as their Jekyll & Hyde vocalist and his skin-smashing co-host. So much fun to be had, even for sweaty grind freaks of 2019.