Now Hear This: Sophie K On The Best New Rap-Metal, Alt-Pop And Metalcore

Kerrang! Radio host Sophie K brings you the new bands you need to check out now, including ZAND, Nicolas Cage Fighter and Bob Vylan…

Now Hear This: Sophie K On The Best New Rap-Metal, Alt-Pop And Metalcore
Sophie K

The fact of the matter is, my brain sounds like walking through a busy market. As I was putting this list together I had to laugh because its the perfect reflection of how my brain works. Whatever music you're into, I have something for you. At the moment I've been spending a lot of my time deep-diving into the different directions rock's taking, and it gets me so excited. I would say the only thing these bands have in common is they are all born from rock culture. Despite the fact you probably couldn’t put any of them on tour together, they all hold a different space and that’s something that excites me.


MISSIO have already made great waves. As they're an electronic duo with a mix of rapping and singing there are easy and obvious comparisons to twenty one pilots, however there is a definite difference. MISSIO's approach is expansive with their sound, they have obvious influences from various genres, with their latest single Vagabond sounding almost industrial. From looking into the band its clear that the members aren’t new to making music, and you can hear that in the maturity of their sound. They have started gaining a lot of buzz, and are definitely one to watch.

Bob Vylan

Bob describes his band as a punk, grime, metal mega band. If you're feeling pissed off this is like the ultimate release. There are a lot of artists fusing genres in this way and Ho99o9 were the only one I had given any time to… until Bob Vylan. Everything from the construction of his bars, to the production to the aesthetic, and even the joke take on Bob Dylan feels rebellious and cleverly constructed. In 2020 we need artists to come as a whole package and Bob Vylan has that. Their latest album We Live Here says it all: Bob Vylan is dirty, angry, honest, aggressive and (like it should be) working class as fuck. I love it because it will divide opinions and piss people off, that’s the kind of music that got me into rock in the first place.


There is no denying or ignoring the genre that people are calling alt-pop and the influence it's having on rock – Dave Grohl has even been saying Billie Eilish is the biggest rock star of modern day, making people rethink what rock means. So let me introduce ZAND. I suspect record label execs would quiver and explode as they shout “but I don’t know what genre they are”. ZAND is a non-binary musician who is creating music that is like a more angry and challenging Billie Eilish. They are kind of like if you ate too much cheese and watched alien while listening to When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?. They aren’t for everybody and I think that’s what intrigues me the most. As such a new artist in this list I am excited to see where they go next.

Nicolas Cage Fighter

Nicolas Cage Fighter are from Australia and play a beautiful mix of hardcore and metal. I've always been a huge fan of the Aus scene and these guys bring a chugging groove and brutal vocals that almost at times remind me of Thy Art Is Murder or early Whitechapel. From start to finish its an assault, but you know those bands who do breakdowns so well you instantly see the pit? Yeah that’s these guys. I'm a big fan of the band and of their odd name, and having watched live videos I cant wait for them to come to the UK.

Meet Me At The Altar

Look I’m gonna say it, straight up, Meet Me At The Altar are what every young black alt girl dreamed of back in the day. It's a band that sounds so similar to Paramore but are black! I gotta just say it as it is. I'm not going to go deep into the reason why this is monumental, because I feel like it would be a whole god damn book, but what I will say is Edith's voice, performance, style and everything else is on point. My favourite part of their story is that, according to Wikipedia, Alex Gaskarth from All Time Low and Dan Campbell from The Wonder Years both contacted Johnny Minardi, the A&R and vice president at Elektra Records, inquiring if he had signed the band. They are now signed to Fueled By Ramen and I’m so excited to see where they go because they are pop punk at its absolute finest.

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