Now Hear This: Sophie K On The Best New Post-Hardcore, Metal And Pop-Punk

Kerrang! Radio host Sophie K brings you the new bands you need to check out now, including VRSTY, Pinkshift and Not A Toy...

Now Hear This: Sophie K On The Best New Post-Hardcore, Metal And Pop-Punk
Sophie K

How long has it been since lockdown started? About 17 years? I have always valued music but I feel like it now hits on a new level. I’m so desperate to see a live show I’d even go see Kid Rock. Joke, it's not that bad yet. I admire all the bands that are releasing new music and starting new projects because, let's face it, most of them make money from touring. That's why I've bought so much merch that I literally had to buy a new chest of drawers! Anyway, I'm so gassed about the bands this week, I legit listen to them all on the reg...


Anyone who knows me knows I'm eclectic in my tastes, but when RnB vocals meets post-hardcore, I am there with bells on! VRSTY are a band I've been following for a while and it's awesome to see that they're gaining real traction, especially with U.S. radio. They sit so well on a playlist next to old-school Palisades and Issues. There have been a lot of artists who have attempted this style of vocal but it takes next level skill. Their singer Joey Varela has a voice that would suit multiple genres, and the songs are well constructed and suited perfectly to a massive pit – I can't wait to see them live. They recently dropped this new track Massive and it's an absolute bop.


Can we talk about Pinkshift please?! Scene is back and I think Ashrita needs to be shown to her throne. It's going to make you feel like everything is okay with the world and it's a positive 2002 all over again. At times pop-punk, at times grunge, Pinkshift aren’t here for boxes. Inspired by the '90s riot grrrl movement they are angsty but innocent at the same time, and if you were in high school in the '00s, it's like a trip down memory lane. In their recent track I’m Gonna Tell My Therapist On You, everything from the groovy hooks to the video shot on a camcorder feels authentic. Maybe I’m drunk on nostalgia, but it left me feeling hopeful, despite tackling the serious issue of mental health. It left me wanting to watch The Faculty – was anyone else obsessed with Josh Hartnett?


There is always time for some good ol' new hard rock. Another nostalgic throwback, this time we're going back to the '90s. Doing a new band show really makes it clear the talent it takes to write this kind of rock. Its been done, and done well, so if you are sitting at the table you better bring something new. BRKN LOVE feel ready for the big festivals. They look like the kind of band you would find in a vintage record store by day and winning over crowds by night. Jason Aalon Butler once said that “you can’t fake cool”, and I think that’s why this band stood out to me. It’s raw, authentic, fuzzy with huge riffs. It was fun going through their album and hearing them experiment and prove that they are talented musicians on multiple levels. Plus I am a sucker for a well timed falsetto, and Justin Benlolo has got this down. If these guys don’t become huge, I will be shocked.


A new signing to Fearless Records, NOT A TOY are gaining traction fast, summing up the exciting range of what rock fans are listening to in 2020. I’m not going to try to define their sound, instead I’ll tell you that they say its music for creatives. To be honest, they don’t sound like a new band – I assumed they were huge and I was late to the party. It's extremely emotive music and not just the vocals, each song is a journey. This is the kind of band that will piss off the “it's not rock crew”, but for those with open minds it's easy to see this band are extremely exciting.

Bad Omens

Anyone of sound mind would wonder why I have included Bad Omens in a new band list and do you know what, they don't belong here. Their U.S. audience is growing and they rack up millions of views on YouTube. But in the UK, we are late as shit to the sickest party right now, so I had to include them this band should be way bigger, and I'm confident they will be. They switch between melt-your-face-off metal and then more gentle rock, showing their range and skill in songwriting. My favourite comment on YouTube was "This track makes me want to break into someone's house and toast all of their bread, then put the slices back in the packet". I weirdly get what the commenter means.

Hear Sophie K present the Breakfast Show on Kerrang! Radio, weekdays from 7am.

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