Now Hear This: Daniel P. Carter on the best new hardcore, screamo and stoner rock
Dear friends, as the monotony marches ever onwards, I offer you these sweet and sour moments to help raise you out of the day to day. They’ve done that for me and I hope they will for you as well.
One Step Closer
These are a melodic hardcore band that hail from Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, and deal in the kind of fraught old-school-hardcore-meets-emo hybrid that was pioneered by bands like Turning Point, Lincoln and to a certain degree, Zack de la Rocha’s pre-Rage band Inside Out. That whole early ’90s era of bands coming out on labels like Art Monk Construction, Revelations and Doghouse is such a favourite period of hardcore history for me, so now any band bringing that kind of energy will always strike a chord. If that era never clicked for you, think of bands now like Touché Amoré or Defeater. From One Step Closer’s 2019 EP From Me To You to the upcoming debut album This Place You Know, they’ve proven themselves worthy of the buzz that’s growing around them. New single Pringle Street finds frontman Ryan Savitski dealing with the isolation imposed by being stuck at home during the pandemic, and is the first taster from the album that’s due at the end of September on Run For Cover Records. I’ve played it on the show a couple of times and it rules.
In the past couple of years you may have got excited about screamo/post-hardcore outfit Shin Guard, who put out the excellent album 2020 and the split Death Of Spring with For Your Health. The Pittsburgh band had a vibe growing round them and started teasing new material, but when the pandemic hit everything seemed to stall. Now the band have re-emerged with a slightly adjusted line-up and a heavier, more deathcore sound, under the new moniker of Hazing Over. The debut EP Pestilence is filled with riffing that’s chopping and discordant with moments of grinding churn. Ungodly rounds out the four tracks with an element of melodic colour without losing any of the ferocity that makes this EP so exciting.
The recent album The Burden Of Restlessness from King Buffalo passed me by on its release last month, and it took a friend pointing out how great it is for me to catch up. Fans of Elder, Baroness and All Them Witches will realise in the same way I did, that this album is pretty fantastic and you’ll be bummed out you slept on it, and then stoked that you now have it in your life. Another friend once described this kind of vaguely-psych, kinda stoner-ish, proggy sludge infused rock as ‘Adult Heavy’, which is pretty much perfect. King Buffalo have the Adult Heavy vibes truly on lock, and for that reason I salute them. Awesome songs, beautiful playing and spotless production.
Whilst on that kind of wave, I’d be remiss not to mention the incredible album Hirschbrunnen from Delving. It’s the solo outing for Elder frontman Nick DeSalvo, and sees him mining a similar vein as he did on the fantastic Elder album Reflections Of A Floating World but without any vocals, and with added swirling Krautrock. It’s become one of my go-to albums to soundtrack painting or chilling, and that is the highest praise I can give. Written and recorded during lockdown in Berlin, the album feels warm, enveloping and hypnotic and is the perfect record for helping cope with the stress we find ourselves in at the moment. Which I assume is the very reason it was made.
Finally, my last recommendation is the fantastic solo work from Daughters frontman Alexis Marshall. His debut House Of Lull. House Of When is out very soon on Sargent House, and is a scathing, harsh and chaotically beautiful work of art. He went into a studio with nothing and left with powerful slab of musique concrete, played by the hand of chance. It’s nine spacious yet claustrophobic tracks that see Alexis’ howling vitriol married to the gritty field recordings and Neubauten-esque vistas he’s conjured, along with the help of Daughters collaborator Jon Syverson and Jaye Jayle frontman Evan Patterson. There are tracks that feel kind of like a fever dream about attending an Appalachian tent revival, and others that are the internal dialogue during your toughest moments, manifesting as an album. At times it’s a punishing listen, both sonically and lyrically, which makes it all the more rewarding. Enjoy!
Hear Daniel P. Carter present the Radio 1 Rock Show, Sunday nights from 9pm.
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