Now Hear This: Alex Baker On The Best New Metal, Noir-Pop And Straight-Up Bangers
Ello treacle, I hope you’re all safe and feeling warm under one of those weighted blankets that everyone on earth seems to be talking about on the internet. Worth a buy or a load of old bollocks? Who knows?! But what I do know for sure is that you’re gonna love these tasty treats….
Brand new Roadrunner U.S. signing Dana Dentata is the absolute embodiment of the dissolution of tribalism. Forget genre, forget stereotypes, she effortless warps it all, and her femme-centric, unapologetically sexual and utterly raw lyrics carry the mark of a person who has been through the trenches of life and finally found her centre. Her sound is assured, authentic and just absolutely fucking amazing. Her EP Daddy Loves You is a warzone of sharp, rapped lyricism and impossibly distorted beats, and when her new album Pantychrist eventually drops, the world will catch up with one of the most exciting new artists on the planet.
I’ve been a champion of new music for over half my life, and one of the many reasons I’m constantly drawn to it is because of the indescribable feeling you get when you discover something utterly mind-blowing. There’s this moment when you just know – like, know – that a band are going to fly. Club Dread make me feel that way. It is impossible for a band to be this good, and for people to not notice. Their sound effortlessly blends so much of the very best of heavy music to create something uniquely theirs – with vocal lines that at times carry an almost old-school Slipknot vibe and wildly atmospheric and discordant guitar lines that coalesce into a melancholic crush of sound, as vocalist Jim Dummer switches style and just soars. Black Peaks, meets Slipknot, meets… God, I don’t know, there’s even A Perfect Circle references buried in there. Just listen to them, they are bloody amazing, and made all the better by working with Steve Sears – the man who produced Gold Key, Spycatcher, Cryforsilence, Krokodil and about a thousand other amazing bands.
The world, right now, is Hell – and it’s all massively exacerbated by the polarising, discourse-destroying, echo-chamber that is social media. Reading’s Terakai found themselves so affected by everything that’s going on in the world at the moment that they broke their six-year hiatus to start writing music again and you if you’re a fan of vintage metalcore, you are going to be very, very pleased that they did. For fans of All That Remains and Alive Or Just Breathing-era Killswitch Engage, their riffs explode over a melee of half time drums with neck snapping effect. Get involved!
In an era of bombastic production and who-can-sing-the-highest competitions, it’s easy to forget that true songcraft will always shine through. Whether intentional or not, Welsh band The Nightmares have completely sidelined modern conventions and have gone for a spacious, atmospheric, understated style that perfectly complements their The Cure-esque sound. Give Up The Hoax perfectly showcases their dreamy, noir-pop sensibilities, and they may even attract some Death Cab For Cutie fans with those jangly guitars…
Not “The U.M.A.”, nor “The You-Ma”, but “The OOMA!” (like “Uma Thurman”). Understand this: this band are gonna blow up, so get in on the ground floor and join the ride. Guitarist Daniel Jones, bassist Ben Degg and vocalist Phil Marsh grew up on a diet of ’90s dance-pop and rock legends, and their years of varied musical immersion have resulted in a staggering sound, that shimmers out of your speakers. Phil’s voice is gorgeously powerful, yet controlled, and musically they have found a groove that could easily place them onstage next to heavyweights like The 1975 or Don Broco. For years I wondered why there aren’t more rock bands writing insanely catchy songs, the likes of which Patrick Stump and Hayley Williams would nod sagely in appreciation for. The answer, of course, was pretty obvious – it’s really fucking hard. But not for The UMA it seems, who don’t appear capable of writing anything but straight-up bangers.
Hear Alex Baker present the Fresh Blood Show on Kerrang! Radio, Wednesday nights from 10pm.
Read this next:
Grunge icons Nirvana have inspired countless artists over the years, but here are 11 musicians and bands who fully embraced the gospel of Seattle and flannel…
Iron Maiden’s Adrian Smith and The Winery Dogs’ Richie Kotzen will be releasing their self-titled Smith/Kotzen debut album in March.