Here’s a bit of good news from the scene in these trying times.
Pop punk legends The Story So Far has decided to donate meals for every bit of merch they sell from April 8th to April 15th. A T-shirt, hat, or longsleeve equates to 1 meal, where 2 meals will be donated for hoodies and jackets. You can also score 15% off your order with the code “FRONTLINE15”. The meals will go straight to frontline workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can visit the merch store here and help out yet another great cause from a band ready to give back! Many thanks to TSSF for being a class act.
SoCal Hardcore legends Rotting Out are back with their first album since 2013. With their brand of fast-paced punk, they’re essential listening for those attuned to chaotic digs and an in-your-face attitude. Between the high BPM and shrill vocals, adrenaline is sure to kick in after each listening from the act. Pumping out music since 2009, the band is releasing Ronin on April 10th, and looks to devastate your eardrums with another heaping helping of frenetic tunes.
“Vessel” kicks off Ronin with one of the fastest verses I’ve heard in this genre. From the get-go, the listener can tell that, while compact in length, there is a lot of emotion and devastation packed into these brief songs. Next comes “Last Man Standing,” with power chords at the forefront. Vocalist Walter Delgado paints the picture of a bleak world throughout the track, as he reminds it, “You can’t kill me, I won’t go away.”
“Stones” features a goosebump-inducing yell after the instruments cut out for a few seconds. With several vocal callouts and plenty of two-step moments, this piece is sure to be a staple for live shows. “Reaper” was released as a single in early 2019, but maintains the tone of the rest of the record so far. The breakdown here, much like “Stones,” is sure to get feet moving as it is the highlight of the song.
A quality bass riff ensues in “Prisoner” with some meta lyrics mixed in: “I tremble as I write this.” More spotlight is shined on the guitar riff later in the track; these little moments are memorable, and so is the transition into the next single, “Unforgiven.” The variation in Walter’s pitch in multiple sections makes this a standout part of Ronin.
“Still Her” is the recipient of another solid transition, and benefits from a monstrous bass drop and lower-pitched uncleans to separate itself from other pieces on the album. A longer track, “Thief” has a great line in “I’m the only one that’s got me on my knees” to cement the feeling of frustration with oneself.
The penultimate track, “Visceral,” continues the previous track’s lyrical theme before the album begins to wrap up. Last comes “Boy” at the longest runtime of 5+ minutes compared to the standard 2 minutes. This track digs the deepest and is the climax of Ronin‘s reflective lyricism. Gang vocals and uncommon song structure make this yet another song that sticks with the listener past one listen.
Overall, Rotting Out hits hard with Ronin and shows that after a decade, the band still has plenty left in the tank. Plenty of songs off of it are sure to hit the band’s rotation in their performances, it’s all a matter of when they can get back out on the road. Any fans of hardcore would do well not to miss out on Ronin when it drops this Friday, April 10th!
***A review copy of Ronin was provided thanks to Pure Noise Records***
Always embracing music that loves to experiment, I took a look at Brass Against, a metal band that has its entire section of horns incorporated into the mix. Garnering a following after their covers of bands such as Tool and Rage Against the Machine, the latter band’s acclaimed guitarist, Tom Morello, claims the group as “an incredible brass band.” Today, I take a look at their Brass Against EP set to release April 10th!
The self-titled EP, marking the band’s first original material, opens with “Umbra,” a vicious scream from Sophia Urista indicates that the band isn’t messing around. A steady mix of clean and unclean vocals melds beauty in the verses with bold choruses. With some horns hitting shrill high notes and others matching the guitar line, the variety on display is invigorating.
“Pull The Trigger” is a politically-charged delve into the current state of the streets. The edgy verses highlight the passion behind Sophia’s vocals, while the horns are as impactful as the conventional rock instruments throughout this track. While the singing takes the spotlight, the horns back them up unequivocally.
The last track is “Blood On The Other,” starting with a meaty riff that benefits from the inclusion of horns to ooze some extra melody out of this section. Sophia speaking in foreign languages during the bridge cements the experimentation at play.
This EP is a new experience for anyone not acquainted with Brass Against, and I found myself as a new fan of the group after the brief listen. I will be exploring the covers, as the act has played some of the most quality pieces from bands in the 90’s/00’s. Brass Against comes with a hearty recommendation, ahead of the April 10th release of Brass Against!
Hartford, Connecticut metalcore powerhouse Before I Turn have made the unprecedented decision to bring us two interconnected albums this year.
Lovelorn will be one story told between the band’s third and fourth efforts throughout 2020. Lovelorn: Moon will hit all platforms on April 19th, with its second half to also feature seven songs.
In a post on April 6th, vocalist Alex Anglis mentioned: “I absolutely love it when fans speculate the direction of the lore, and for that reason we are putting the songs out of the order they were originally meant to be in, to let you guys decide the story. Music is interpretation and there’s no wrong interpretation, art is a merely a question.”
This massively-talented metal act is deserving of a big break, and I’m hoping that comes with Lovelorn. Discover what this band has to offer with the song below!