The last few months alone have been ridiculously good for rock and metal, with the new Tool and Slipknot records reminding us that neither genre is in fact “dead”. Of course, there’s been plenty of other bands releasing great music, from the groundbreaking new Northlane album Alien, to the crossover thrash of Enforced, just to name a few.
Given all the new music you probably missed, our job on our Best New Music feature is to highlight some of the best album releases or individual singles you might have missed. Most of them just released today (Starset, Pine, Microwave), though a few were released in the last month or two. All are more than worth your time, though, no matter what genre of music you’re into. Here we go…
The Band Camino (tryhard)
The Band Camino, to be blunt, are pop-rock’s next big thing. Having already toured with the likes of The Dangerous Summer and then All Time Low in 2018, their new 8-song EP, tryhard, is a quick blast of catchy pop-rock music. “Hush Hush” delivers the kind of big hooks that many seasoned bands aren’t able to write, and it’s pretty clear they’ll be headlining big tours of their own very soon as well.
Unlike many other bands trying the same thing, Pine’s self-titled debut album is a huge success because of the way it pushes the strong vocals of Darlene Deschamps to the forefront of their indie rock/dream pop sound, instead of making them just another instrument. The band’s shoegaze influences are very evident on “Lusk” and “Discord”, and while a little short, the record doesn’t overstay its welcome. It’s not a stretch to say this record has one of the most impressive and desperate vocal performances of the year.
Starset’s third transmission, Divisions, provides a nice balance between some of the cinematic rock band’s heavier moments (“Telekinetic”) and lighter, electronically-driven ones (“Perfect Machine”). Given the sci-fi scope of the band’s ambition, Divisions ranks as some of their most inspired material to date, as while it’s still generally more of the same, it’s a better overall experience with less filler than Transmissions or Vessels. This might well be one of the biggest rock albums of the year.
Chelsea Wolfe (Birth Of Violence)
Chelsea Wolfe contains and captures the darkness within on Birth Of Violence.
caution:thieves (The Blueprint For Moving Forward)
Australia’s caution:thieves deliver a shockingly good EP of Thrice and Rise Against-inspired post-hardcore. One listen to opener “The New Colossus” and you’re likely to be impressed with the band’s maturity, and ability to provide a fresh spin on 2000’s post-hardcore.
Microwave (Death Is A Warm Blanket)
Microwave’s transition from much love(d) pop-punk/emo band to Failure-influenced alt-rock band is complete. The focus on heavier material seems a complete 180 from their previous records, and while that’s true, the genre shift helps them stand out in a good way.
Telltale (“What A Shame” – single)
Young guns Telltale, who just released their debut EP earlier this year, are back with a new single in “What A Shame”. The Virginia pop-punk band are seemingly getting stronger and more confident with every release, and an upcoming tour with fellow cohorts Broadside will only boost their stock further.
Infinity Shred (Forever, A Fast Life)
Post-rock and the electronic vibes of bands like 65daysofstatic collide on Infinity Shred’s new record. If you like the two combined, you’ll love this, as it’s among the band’s most expansive work to date. Even their 5+ minute tracks breeze by, and that’s a good thing.
Sparrows (Failed Gods)
Sparrows is one of the scene’s best kept secrets. Playing a blend of post-hardcore with lots of post-rock influence, you can expect plenty of ebb and flow on Failed Gods, the band’s 3rd full-length. It’s not one to miss.
Devourment (Obscene Majesty)
More Devourment means more slams, blast beats, and incomprehensible vocals.
Void Of Vision (Hyperdaze)
Promising Aussie nu-metal/metalcore band Void Of Vision are back with their sophomore record, and it’s easily the band’s biggest collection of material to date. Listening to tracks like “If Only”, with its flourishing vocal hook in the chorus and melodic undertones, is refreshing considering the band used to be pigeonholed as just another nu-metal revival act. Of course, that was a mistake to begin with, but if you were in that category previously, Hyperdaze will show you how the band has evolved.
Orthodox (“I Can Show You God”, single)
Do you like metallic hardcore with pounding drums and incisive guitar riffs? If so, the new Orthodox song – the band’s first since their 2017 debut album, will be right up your alley.
The Faim (State Of Mind)
In the span of just a couple years, The Faim have gone from much-hyped indie darlings, to gaining the attention of major publications and tastemakers – amassing an impressive fanbase. All of this before their debut album, State Of Mind, which drops today. It’s a solid enough debut album that definitely brings to the more theatrical Panic! At The Disco material, especially on highlight “Summer Is A Curse”.
Lizzy Farrall (Barbados)
Trading in an acoustic guitar for the decidedly alt-pop vibes of Barbados was a wise move for Lizzy Farrall. The spirit and exuberance that Farrall displays on the buoyant title track and “Balloon” is really something to behold, as well. A shockingly good transition that was somewhat unexpected, Farrall can only get better as a songwriter from here.
Static Dress (“clean.”, debut single)
Static Dress deliver a huge opening salvo on debut single, “clean.”. It would be a surprise if this band didn’t gain traction quickly, considering their brand of post-hardcore is both nostalgic (seriously, this song could’ve been off a Dead Poetic or Finch record) and modern.