There’s something gorgeous happening in Denmark. It seems you can’t throw a guitar into a crowd without hitting great new hardcore and metal bands from the Nordic country – Copenhagen, in particular, is the home of many of these talented, tuneful new acts, forcing me to drastically consider a music-centric holiday to the capital city. This edition of The Anatomy Of belongs to Copenhagen’s hardcore upstarts in NYT LIV. Now, don’t scroll past just because you’ve read “hardcore”, there’s no faux machismo or crowd-killing happening here, far from it. NYT LIV’s unique take on hardcore blends melody, driving riffs, and a fuck load of dense, bingeable hooks.
Far from toothless, this hardcore act still bring the heft and in spades, but there’s much more going on under the surface than your typical meat’n’potatoes ‘core. NYT LIV’s debut LP Ensomhedens Kolde Kald is as boisterous as a house party rammed to the gunwales with sweaty, pilsner soaked ruffians, but the emotional drive behind it is earnest and almost melancholic at times too. “Kniven” is the Scandinavian b-side Trap Them never got round to recording – a gnarled bass grinding out notes over a sinfully simple drum beat before the cymbals start crashing over everything. The odd time signatures in “Det Skal Du Nok Blive” provide the head-bobbing, the major key provides the positive and powerful heartbeat, and with vocals coarse and pained the track is allowed to build up to a cathartic crescendo. Fucking powerful stuff and with a run-time less than a half hour, this is a debut that can, and should, be put on repeat.
An easy comparison to make is always going to pop up when any band from this part of the world blends the worlds of rock’n’roll and hardcore, but Kvelertak‘s earlier material was never as heavy as this, so that’s where we leave the comparison. Put simply, NYT LIV fuel the forever party with their bullish take on melodic hardcore, and we should all be super thankful for the invitation to join them. The band were kind enough as to provide us with a little bit about their own personal tastes, so I’m gonna shut up now.
Michael Aagesen (vocals)
Growing up I was mostly into metal music: Entombed, Slayer, Napalm Death, Obituary, etc, but when Sick Of It All released Scratch The Surface, I became an instant fan of hardcore music. I loved the energy, sing-a-longs and the lyrics. Especially: “In the underground, integrity lies within. In the underground, image doesn’t mean a thing”.
Martin Goltermann (guitar)
When I was a kid, I heard a riff from the television that gave me goosebumps, but it was gone before I knew what song it was. The next day, I almost ran home from school and was glued to the television watching MTV waiting to catch that song, and all of a sudden there it was; “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana – it absolutely blew me away. I went to the local record store and found an album by Nirvana, but the song from MTV wasn’t on it, but I bought it anyway and I still consider Bleach to be an all-time classic in my record collection. As I grew older I discovered bands like Sick Of It All, Madball, Converge and Refused that steered me towards the hardcore scene. I still turn to the classics but in terms of newer bands, I listen a lot to Turnstile, Kvelertak, Trap Them, More Than Life and Nails.
Soren Hvidt (bass)
I’ve always been into bands blending hardcore with rock. In my younger days I found bands like Snapcase, Refused and especially Nine. The rocking hardcore sound has stuck with me, and today I’m really into bands like Modern Life Is War, Turnstile and Kvelertak.
Simon Erlendsson (drums)
Being the drummer and Danish, I guess it doesn’t come as a big surprise that Metallica’s Black Album was my bible (Sure, the older ones are better, but I wasn’t born when they came out). From there I simply started listening to all kinds of things between rock and metal – actually everything aside from hardcore and punk – ironic isn’t it? These days I like tech stuff like Revocation and Gojira but also really dig a good Kvelertak style chorus.
Ensomhedens Kolde Kald is available right now from Indisciplinarian, Denmark’s quintessential, hyper-quality record label. Get it, and find NYT LIV here while you’re at it.