This is a pretty basic fact: Upstart record label Sharptone Records is killing the game right now. Not simply a one-dimensional label signing veteran metalcore and post-hardcore bands (We Came As Romans, Attila, Miss May I), in the label’s 11 month (!!!) foundation, they’ve also signed hungry acts like Currents, Widowmaker, and Cardiff’s Holding Absence. The latter is gaining some seriously crazy accolades and opportunities despite not even having a proper full-length or EP out, but the band, who play a distilled amalgamation of post-hardcore, post-rock, and ambient. Not that the description I just gave is necessarily reflecting of future material from the band – the band’s recent interview w/Dead Press Zine seems to reveal otherwise.
DP!: Would you say the two songs indicate the spectrum of the Holding Absence sound?
J: Absolutely not. Over the next few months and even years, the spectrum is going to get wider and wider. We have a very varied taste in music within the band; one minute we’ll be listening to Nails, the next minute Radiohead, the next minute The 1975. We also love the idea of experimentation within music. We’d love to work with an array of different producers, we’d love to pick up new instruments, and we’d love to try and break any genre confinements.
No matter what direction the band heads in stylistically, though, one thing is for sure – Holding Absence appears to follow in the footsteps of their peers in Landscapes and Casey in creating passionate, emotionally vulnerable music that stirs the soul – and in Holding Absence’s case, straying from the genre conventions you’re used to. If nothing else, they’re clearly a band that’s driven to make their mark, despite being around less than a year.
– This Is Holding Absence.
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Lying somewhere between the emotional vulnerability of Wind In Sails/City & Colour and the gritty folk-rock of Johnny Cash (maybe?) lies Boomtown Crooks. The Los Angeles collective (vocalist Zac is Canadian, though) just released a new album in This Is A Robbery. Of particular note is the fact that they also donated a track, “Fubar”, to the Solidarity in Sound: A Compilation to Benefit the ACLU compilation. The track also appears on This Is A Robbery as the opening track to the album.
In short, Boomtown Crooks is a band that is certainly worthy of your attention. Don’t believe me? Check out This Is A Robbery below and tell us what you think.
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Pittsburgh, PA’s Code Orange are experiencing their biggest year yet. With a divisive yet highly successful album in 3rd effort Forever, the band has toured with Gojira, Deafheaven, and System Of A Down (soon), and it’s clear the band’s work ethic and signing with Roadrunner Records are clearly helping further the band’s vision. All this despite a chaotic, diverse sound that is influenced by 90’s alt-metal and industrial as much as it is late 90’s metalcore, a la 18 Visions and Disembodied.
Earlier today, the band gained a new admirer in the form of vocalist Corey Taylor. Maybe you’ve heard of the man, who fronts Slipknot and Stone Sour. Could we see a Slipknot/Stone Sour tour that features Code Orange? Maybe, if the following exchange is to be believed.
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Ocala’s Wage War aren’t so much helping to redefine a stagnant, oversaturated metalcore genre as much as they are helping revitalize it. What they’re doing isn’t necessarily anything that’s new, but given the success and strong work ethic the band has displayed, one could surely say they deserve it. Wage War’s debut album Blueprints was a slow-burning album that started to gain traction recently, resulting in a highly successful run on Warped Tour 2016, as well as playing the festival circuit this spring.
All of this is now culminating in a sophomore album (Deadweight, out August 4th via Fearless Records) that is already catching fire via both esteemed music sites, as well as on social media. The lead single from the album, “Stitch”, just hit a huge mark – one million views on Youtube in just over 2 months. Granted, number of times viewing a music video isn’t a singular barometer of success, but it is still notable considering the band’s other music videos for “Don’t Let Me Fade Away” (400,000 views) and “The River”, “Alive”, “Twenty One”, and “Youngblood” are all either at or very close to the one million mark. In fact, “The River” is shockingly close to 2,000,000 hits.
Ocala may be the land of tourism and A Day To Remember, but Wage War are right there with those two as the pride of Ocala. All this for a band that 3 years ago, wasn’t signed but they were grinding locally. They’re a testament to what happens when talent and hard work meets opportunity.
Also in case you missed it, here’s our newest interview w/the band.
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