Now Hear This: Jack Saunders on the best nu-metal, post-hardcore and trip-hop
When I’m looking for new music, style doesn’t matter to me – it’s all about how bands integrate different ideas and sounds into each other, and really try to push the boundaries. I like it when bands bring a new perspective to something, because everyone can write a love song, but what is interesting is when an artist does it in a really different way.
Right now, it feel like there’s a new wave of artists emerging that really understand their audience and are connecting with them in a way we haven’t seen before. Ultimately, the main thing I preach on my show is boundary-breaking music, which is something I think all the bands I’ve picked here do well…
Wargasm are one of the most exciting post-hardcore bands around at the moment – they feel like The Prodigy and Slipknot at the same time. There’s no-one out there like them right now, and whenever I get rock fans asking me for new music recommendations, Wargasm are always my answer. I actually discovered them through YUNGBLUD. Milkie – Wargasm’s vocalist and bassist – plays bass for YUNGBLUD sometimes, and he told me to listen to them. As soon as I heard the song Spit, I was completely blown away. I’ve had them on my Radio 1 show, and I’ve been championing them ever since.
My next choice is actually related to Wargasm, because they played a socially-distanced show just before we went into full lockdown and were supported by a band from Liverpool called Death Blooms. They’re another spawn of Slipknot, without a doubt. Seeing a post-hardcore band in a small venue, the sound needs to be really abrasive yet coherent and engaging at the same time, and they absolutely smashed it. Their lead singer’s voice is unreal, too – they’ve got the whole package. It’s early days with them, but there’s potential for them to break through. I’m a big fan.
Two Year Break
Two Year Break are similar to Death Blooms in that they’re very early in their career, and there’s work to do for this band, for sure. I know Johnny Doom from Kerrang! Radio has been playing them a lot, as have I, and I see enough potential there for them to grow into something really good. Two Year Break have similar traits to the likes of You Me At Six, Enter Shikari and Don Broco – they feel like all those bands mixed into one. Their frontman really has the knowhow with regards to how to push them and take them to the next level. I feel like they have the right DNA as a band to do well.
I discovered Kid Brunswick through my girlfriend, who was doing some writing with him. He’s signed to Island Records, but it feels like he hasn’t quite clicked in the major label environment just yet. He’s one of those artists who is happy to exist in the underground and really hone and craft his material. Lyrically, it comes from a very dark place; I had him on the show for an interview, and he gave a very honest account of his experiences with depression and addiction, which is something that’s conveyed powerfully in his lyrics. There’s some Linkin Park in there, all the way through to artists as diverse as Travis Scott and My Chemical Romance – there’s elements of emo, goth, nu-metal and trip-hop all coming together. His music is new generation nu-metal, essentially, and I really like what he’s doing.
This band only have two songs out right now, so they’re very new. They sit more in the darker, grungier, trip-hop world, yet the production is the kind of thing you get with a big hip-hop artist like Kanye West. The sentiment of the music is very much that of these underground, sticky dancefloor venues that you’d imagine XVOTO like to reside in. They’re a duo, and it’s very early days, but one of them is also in a band called HMLTD who are more established. There’s pace and energy to XVOTO, and the lyrics are brilliant. They’re doing something really cool.
Jack Saunders’ Future Artists show airs Monday-Thursday 10pm-midnight on BBC Radio 1. The MTV Rocks Chart broadcasts every Sunday at 10pm on MTV Music.
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