LOWBORN announce new synth-pop single “Bad For Me”, pre-save it now!

While their previous tracks take on more of a rock-influence, LOWBORN‘s upcoming new single “Bad For Me” (out April 24th) contains haunting, heavy pop-synth beats with lightning-like vocals from Wes Lauterbach. With its inspiration rooted in the fear of change, “Bad For Me” acknowledges bad behavior that, while fun and exciting, ends up creating further damage. Pre-save the song here to make sure you don’t miss it!

For the uninitiated; LOWBORN is an independent, skillful band that is rapidly growing via constant Spotify official playlist placements (New Noise, All New Rock, etc.) and praise from the music press. Billboard calls LOWBORN’s sound “…absolutely huge, and it also, in fact, touches on a wide swath of musical territory.”.  We agree 100%!

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Picturesque matures into interesting post-hardcore in “Do You Feel O.K?” (Review)

Picturesque, 2020

Ever since their debut EP in 2014, I’ve kept an eye on the transcending, exploratory band that is Picturesque. Their idea of post-hardcore incorporates soaring vocals and compelling production techniques to enhance the emotion portrayed. For their upcoming release, Do You Feel O.K?, there’s been a whopping five singles released since “Pray” in 2018, so the anticipation is palpable for me as I delve into this album hitting April 24th!

Starting off with single “Necessary,” the haptic feedback in my headphones went NUTS in the first few seconds, immediately establishing that the aforementioned production value is kicked into high gear for this release. The chorus sees vocalist Kyle Hollis yearn to be someone’s first choice in aptly-addressed angst. Second off is a rousing “Holy f***!” shouted in “ATTN:.” Cleverly titled, the layered guitars in the chorus and poppy cues give this piece enough complexity to stick in the listener’s head.

“Swipe” has a polarizing R&B vocal delivery in the verses that smooths into a strong, anthemic chorus. This piece’s mainstream appeal is at the forefront with a lot of interspersed elements that could entertain a lot of listeners. My personal favorite single, “Crimes,” with a purely-infectious post-chorus jam and a standout performance in the bridge that shines the talent at hand in Picturesque in a bright spotlight.

“Prisoner” sees some female vocals in the later bits to create a shared-sentiment vibe within a toxic/failing relationship, lyrics that become easily relatable to those who have gone through something similar. “O.K?” continues the R&B styling and hones in on introspection and dealing with pain. The guitarwork at 2:18 is divine and gave me chills, being in the right place at the right time.

“Holding Me Down” broadcasts a haunting vibe, once again benefiting from dual guitars in the chorus. The piece’s quiet, focused tone in its verses gives precedence to Kyle to get his message across. Some interesting experimentation comes out in “Glass House”s intro, as Kyle battles with himself in the lyrics and a highly-reverbed guitar in the bridge presents a longing feeling.

A track I’ve heard for two years now, “Pray” encapsulates the struggle between a rough love and the alternative of loneliness. This is an optimal entry point to Picturesque, giving all that they can give in this song. “Say it Like You Mean it” takes a while to pick up with a chorus that plays it safe and not enough going on to make it as memorable as the other tracks. The last song is “Day By Day,” a meta, sentimental closure to the album to “put the pieces back.”

While it was a bold move to drop half the album in advance and as early as they did with the singles, the cohesive unit that is Picturesque’s Do You Feel O.K? makes for a great second LP from the band. There’s just enough effects and riffs sprinkled in to create a distinctive sound that capitalizes on R&B/Pop influences for some angst-tinged post-hardcore goodness. There’s a bit of a dropoff in the last few songs, but the front half and beyond makes for a worthwhile listen for fans of the genre. Give us your thoughts on this release when it hits April 24th!

A press copy was provided courtesy of Big Picture Media.

Hybrid Earth: On 2013’s ‘Augment’, Erra charted a course for modern progressive metalcore

Erra wasn’t always as popular as they are currently. Though the progressive metalcore band from Alabama have been around for right around a decade, it also wasn’t that long ago they were (promising!) openers for just about every metalcore tour you can think of. Not that it’s a bad thing – everyone has to cut their teeth somewhere. Erra’s strong work ethic and songwriting abilities shine through on all four of their full-lengths to date, but it’s on 2013’s Augment where the band really showed off their brilliance – providing some of the most awe-inspiring moments in all of progressive metalcore.

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Stream Ulcerate’s gripping new metal masterpiece, ‘Stare Into Death And Be Still’

Since their debut album Of Fracture And Failure was released in 2007, New Zealand extreme metal band Ulcerate have been known for pushing the boundaries of metal itself. Ambitious and forward-thinking without ever being boring, their 2009 album Everything Is Fire could also be considered a metaphor for the band itself – in that everything the band touches is fire.

It goes without saying that the band’s newest work has been hotly anticipated for sometime, and while Stare Into Death And Be Still was supposed to release April 24th, not everything has gone according to plan for Ulcerate. Thanks (well, no thanks) to an unfortunate leak on the Internet, the band has moved forward with releasing a full album stream via Youtube to tide you over ahead of this Friday’s release. Stream it below and get enveloped into what is already one of 2020’s most important metal records. Blending death metal, post-metal, and apocalyptic themes, the album definitely fits the bill of what humanity is experiencing now.

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