Now Hear This: Alex Baker on the best new metalcore, doom-pop and hardcore
I went to the actual pub! I sat in one, with some mates, and had some food and drank some drinks. It was so weird. There was, like, a vibe: people chatting, stuff happening. Is this what living feels like? I can’t really remember. I need a moment to get my head around it. In the meantime, here’s some amazing new music…
Blasting out of Copenhagen are progressive metalcore act Nothing Noble, a band who are so instantly and obviously brilliant that I immediately made them my Featured Artist Of The Week when I started playing them on my show. With gargantuan riffs and grooves that have an almost Mudvayne-esque funkiness to them at times, it is basically impossible to listen to these beasts without finding yourself just nodding along with a deep appreciation of the bounce and the thick textures they create. Watch out for their new album Modern Dismay coming in August – but for now check out their new single featuring Brendan Murphy of Counterparts fame…
People often ask me “what I’m looking for” in music, and really, all I’m ever really “looking for” is for it to move me in some way. Genre, tempo… who cares. Is it great? Yes or no, that’s it.
That said, there is a particular genre of music that never fails to put a massive smile on my face and that is hardcore. Gritty, miserable, bad-ass hardcore. I just love it, the energy of it, the relentlessness, the speed – I find it really intoxicating and when it’s done well… Chef kiss.
So you can only imagine my deep excitement when I first listened to Cage Fight, a band who will demand the attention of fans of bands like Terror and Stampin’ Ground. Fronted by Rachel Aspe, whose insanely powerful voice is like a spin-kick to the temple, and with a relentless assault of riffs and beats from TesseracT guitar legend James Monteith, bassist Jon Reid and drummer Nick Plews, Cage Fight are basically a supergroup. A supergroup that may well result in some of the most ludicrous pits ever known to humankind. Well, when we’re allowed to actually have that sort of fun again, that is.
A unique sound is a rare and wonderful thing to encounter in the modern age, but Boston’s Juniper Youth have found their own groove that blends the best of atmospheric guitars with progressive, ever-evolving drum beats that actually sort of remind me of Proceed (if you remember them? God dammit I love that band). This is doom-pop, this is infectious, this is something that fans of Deftones and Incubus will find fascinating, and I wholeheartedly encourage you to click on the video below to get transported off onto a different celestial plane.
Keeping with the theme of absolutely amazing bands that have a sound all of their own, where do I even begin with this next lot? Turbo-grunge? My Chemical Nirvanamance? God knows. Grunge is bloody hard to do, because Nirvana so perfectly encapsulated it, that it’s almost like what’s the point in even trying? But that challenge hasn’t even remotely deterred Y!kes. What these guys have done is inject a contemporary My Chem-esque vibrancy into a classic sound and what you end up with is something that feels like it’s absolutely bursting with energy. Like, a frightening amount of energy, like a nuclear power station on the brink of total meltdown. And I am here for it.
There’s a bloody fantastic band that I’ve had my eyes and ears on since 2017 when they released their Reverie EP and totally captured my attention. Over the past decade there’s been a real rise in cinematic music and it’s permeating all genres – from post-rock, to post-hardcore, to pop, it’s everywhere, and I’m really pleased about that. There’s something about that huge, arms-in-the-air, fall-to-your-knees sound that makes the world feel like a better place, and Lyon’s Resolve are really good at evoking that feeling. Over the past five years they’ve honed their sound, and their latest single Seasick Sailor gives you a delicious taste of what’s to come on their forthcoming album. Watch this space.
Hear Alex Baker present the Fresh Blood Show on Kerrang! Radio, Wednesday nights from 10pm
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