When a band breaks up after a long and hugely successful career, a certain cluster of emotions usually comes to mind among fans: nostalgia for the years spent with their music; pride in their incredible accomplishments; and ultimately, acceptance that it is that band’s time to go. Yet a decidedly different feeling accompanies yesterday’s news that British progressive rock band Arcane Roots will be calling it quits. That’s not to say that the band’s music didn’t leave an incredible impact… to the contrary, they were one of the most breathtakingly original and captivating bands to grace progressive music in years. Yet the tragedy of their breakup at this particular moment is that this felt like a band which, for all their successes thus far, was just getting started.
Zayn Malik’s solo career since leaving the confines of One Direction has been a mixed bag, a display of massive potential mixed with some notable letdowns. The best tracks from his 2016 debut album Mind of Mine (mostly the ones produced by frequent collaborator Malay) adeptly drew inspiration from moody R&B stars like The Weeknd and Frank Ocean, while showcasing a phenomenal vocal ability and tinges of Zayn’s own Pakistani heritage. However, Zayn has occasionally let his aesthetic slip into generic pop-R&B background noise… while the Taylor Swift duet “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” was a massive hit, it perhaps best exemplified how Zayn could potentially have his uniqueness watered down by the major label pop machine, and slip into pop star anonymity.
Houston-based progressive post-hardcore band Vox Vocis are no strangers to change. The group made a splash in their local scene in 2016 with their debut full-length In the Arms of the Sun, which drew from well-known prog acts like Coheed and Cambria and Closure in Moscow to create a dynamic, densely layered musical journey. Now, two years on from that album’s release, the band expands their reach and broadens their musical vision with the release of Star Meissa, one of the finest albums the genre has produced this year.
We’re barely over three months into 2018, and the year has so far been chock-full of surprises of every variety. So in that spirit, dear reader, I am going to utter a sentence so thoroughly unexpected that you may not have seen it spoken OR written in well over a decade. And the sentence is: “The new Hoobastank single is pretty good!”