New England-based extreme metal quintet AVERSED has revealed a video for the scientific-inspired track “Laboratory” from the band’s upcoming release, Impermanent. Watch the video for “Laboratory” today via Toilet Ov Hell or here:
“‘Laboratory’ turns self-reflection and actualization on its head, discussing the consequences of ignoring and exploiting the natural world for our own gain regardless of its spiritual or intellectual benefit,” says drummer Jeff Saltzman. “In this interconnected world, we sow the seeds of our mechanized destruction if we only look inward rather than aim to help others.”
“Laboratory” was inspired by Saltzman’s own time working in a biology laboratory and its effects on the world outside of the lab. “Despite our cutting-edge research, we weren’t helping a soul,” he says. “What’s the point? ‘Laboratory’ is my criticism of the pursuit of scientific progress just for the sake of progress.”
Aversed’s Impermanent is set for release on March 19. Mixed and mastered by Christian Donaldson (Cryptopsy, The Agonist, Shadow of Intent), Impermanent illustrates Aversed’s unique approach to songwriting with nine diverse compositions full of catchy hooks and vast melodies. Aversed offered fans a glimpse of the album last month with a video for the title track.
Pre-orders for Impermanent are available here. In addition to the album, a variety of bundles are also available, as well as a brand new t-shirt design.
With the release of Impermanent, Aversed presents a metal experience cultivated of unprecedented beauty and torment. The third release following 2011’s self-titled EP and 2016’s Renewal EP, Impermanent marks a turning point for the New England scene veterans as they pivot from melodic death metal towards a nuanced balance of blackened and orchestral melodic metal.
Philadelphia’s Model Prisoner recently released their politically-fueled debut EP Piss Universe, a mélange of metal, hardcore, and hip hop. In addition, Metal Injection unveiled the music video for their title track – a song about our society being a hot mess like a f*cked up beauty pageant where fake images and lies prevail, corruption rules, and it’s all just a game about money. Also, Model Prisoner’s bloodline includes influential bands such as Nowhere Roads, Swarm of Arrows, and Label the Traitor. Watch the “Piss Universe” video here.
Piss Universe was engineered, mixed, and mastered by rapidly rising producer Wyatt Oberholzer (Year of the Knife, No Option, Fixation, Struck Nerve) at The Knife Lair in Philadelphia, PA. Additional production and beats were provided by Jack Mickelson. The duo consisting of Keats Rickard and Jay “Lanky” Mallory tracked with Oberholzer in staggered sessions across a few months during quarantine. Influenced by the current state of our country, the result is explosive music with violent vocals and angry lyrics.
Their debut EP Piss Universe was released on August 28, 2020 and is available everywhere for streaming and download via Bandcamp with a vinyl release planned for the fall.
Glendale, AZ — Tool stopped in Glendale night to play the Gila River Arena to an ocean of patiently adoring fans that could not have been more excited to hear the band rip into their ear drums. However, little did everyone in attendance know that what transpired next would be far beyond even what their lofty expectations could prepare them for.
One might think after a 13-year hiatus from recording new music, that a band might be well past their prime but fortunately for Tool, they’re clearly an exception to the rule. With the release of their latest album, Fear Inoculum, this is a band that has proven they won’t compromise their artistic vision for the sake of putting an album out every two years or so. They take their time perfecting a raw, mysterious sound that fans have come to revere over the years.
UK veterans Killing Joke kicked off the night and proved to be an excellent opening act, getting the crowd pumped up with their whiplash-inducing brand of quasi-metal and goth rock sounds. They were definitely an interesting choice for the opening band, but Tool has always brought their friends and greatest musical influences along with them on tour. It was fascinating to observe and clear how Killing Joke’s unique take on music clearly influenced Tool’s own iconic sound as their set went on. Notably, Killing Joke has had many lineup changes throughout the years. But recently, all of their original members are officially back in the band. This brought an inspiring energy to the night that would only flourish in intensity as the time grew closer for Tool to take the stage.
Fans of Tool know very well the law of the land at their concerts: no photos or videos. One might find this to be disappointing, but in many ways, it enhances the concert experience as people allow themselves and others to become fully engaged in the moment. As the lights fell to black, the sounds of cheering cut in front of the ambient noise with the swiftness of a starving octogenarian jumping to the front of the line at an early-bird dinner buffet. You could reach out and touch the energy in the room, and just when it seemed like the arena would burst from the crowd’s anticipation, guitarist Adam Jones played the opening swells to the new album’s title track, “Fear Inoculum.”
This was a very good choice for the opening number, not only because it’s the first song on the new album, but also because it represents the first example of new music they presented to the world after a 13-year drought. The song was recreated beautifully in the live setting, and it was accompanied by some of the most impressive Alex Gray-inspired visuals to date. Incredibly long threads formed around the stage in a circular formation as intensely colorful images were projected onto the screen towering behind the band. These threads also allowed the images projected on stage to glide across them in a pseudo-3D effect that was nothing less than spectacular for lucky enough to capture it firsthand.
Familiar clay aliens and faceless men in business suits adorned the screen as fans were treated to the corresponding music videos for each of the band’s older songs. One particular highlight included a full live rendition of “Parabol/Parabola” in all of its 9-minute glory, to the uncontainable delight of many fans in attendance. The drums punched through the mix with a primal fury not seen from many other bands around today, thanks to the incomparable Danny Carey behind the monstrous kit. His effortless playing and ad-libbing enhanced the songs without it sounding too busy or as if he was showing off. Every single drum strike was as tasteful as the last, which is no small feat when you have such a large kit at your disposal to tempt a less stoic individual into overplaying.
Guitarist Adam Jones and bassist Justin Chancellor were also both in exceptional form throughout the night, proving their playing only continues to improve. The ear-piercing squeals of Jones’ dark Les Paul mixed with Chancellor’s thunderous yet melodic bass lines are truly a match made in heaven.
Other notable highlights of the night included the second song of the set “Ænima”, introduced by singer Maynard James Keenan happily declaring “Alpha Omega. AZ. It’s good to be home. We just got back from LA.” Immediately followed by the familiarly breathy “hey” repeated throughout the intro of the song about a great flood of biblical proportions consuming the entirety of Los Angeles in all of its perceived decay and decadence. This was followed by excellent performances of “The Pot”, “Jambi”, and “Schism”, with the latter incorporating an unexpectedly sped-up bridge section that had to be heard to be believed.
Tool have achieved what so many other bands who have been together for as long as they have only dream of doing successfully: standing the test of time. So many bands of yesteryear lapse into obscurity or worse yet, self-parody, as they make their comebacks. Tool is not one of them. They continue to deliver unprecedented, phenomenal live shows and mind-blowing visuals that only get better as time flows onward. If you get the chance to see them live, do yourself a favor by not missing out, because they deliver every single time.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the barrio, METALACHI has announced another run of dates through the southwest this fall!
In addition to METALACHI, the world’s first – and only – heavy metal mariachi band, Shark in the Water will deliver a blistering tidal wave of non-stop, raw, gritty surf music.
“METALACHI is pumped to wrap up our tour schedule for 2019 at all our favorite venues across the southwest,” says METALACHI manager Warren Moscow. “This run is something we always look forward to, as the whole southwest corridor has been like a second home for us for years…and this time we are bringing even more insanity to the run with the addition of Shark in the Water to the tour.”
METALACHI‘s most recent full-length album, Tres, was released late last year and features covers of songs originally performed by artists such as Judas Priest, Dio, Journey, Guns N’ Roses, including METALACHI‘s popular cover of the Queen classic, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Watch the video for “Bohemian Rhapsody,” featuring a cameo by comedian Felipe Esparza, here:
METALACHI with Shark in the Water dates:
11/8 – Denton, TX @ Backyard on Bell 11/9 – New Braunfels, TX @ Billy’s Ice 11/10 – Dallas, TX @ Trees 11/13 – Austin, TX @ Antone’s 11/14 – Austin, TX @ Antone’s 11/15 – Stafford, TX @ Republic Country Club 11/16 – Fort Worth, TX @ Lola’s Trailer Park 11/17 – San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger 11/20 – Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole 11/21 – Phoenix, AZ @ Rhythm Room 11/22 – Cottonwood, AZ @ Main Stage*
*No Shark in the Water
Hailing from Hollywood, CA via Juarez, Mexico, METALACHI is a musical/comedy stage show that somehow seamlessly blends the world of Spinal Tap and Cheech & Chong into an over-the-top stage spectacle. The band is comprised of a five-piece ensemble of classically trained mariachi musician siblings, that have been fused together with the power of heavy metal. Fans can expect an unlikely meshing of metal classics from artist such as Metallica, Slayer, Ozzy Osbourne and more with traditional mariachi standards from the likes of Vicente Fernandez and Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan… all played with traditional mariachi instrumentation but with a stage show that strays far from traditional!
METALACHI takes their cues from outrageous stage shows like KISS, GWAR and Rob Zombie with outrageous costumes, stage production, personas and onstage antics. The band features Vega De La Rockha on vocals, Queen Kyla Vera on violin, Kiko Cane on guitarron, Paco Halen on guitar, El Cucuy on trumpet and is managed by mysterious impresario Warren Moscow.
METALACHI has garnered worldwide acclaim for their unique brand of raucous humor and innovative musical mastery, quickly amassing a loyal and diverse fan base of music lovers in addition to gaining praise from music royalty such as Dave Lombardo (Slayer), Vinnie Paul (Pantera, Hellyeah), Eric Wilson (Sublime), M. Shadows (Avenged Sevenfold), Billy Idol, and Howard Stern along the way (fun fact – for the past five years, Sublime has used METALACHI‘s debut album Uno to time their set changes, blasting the entire album over the PA at their live shows). On a previous leg of the current tour, METALACHI was personally invited by comedian George Lopez to perform at the grand opening of his Chingon Kitchen at the Vee Quiva Hotel in Arizona.
METALACHI has been featured on America’s Got Talent, CNN’s Great Big Story, Rolling Stone en Español, BBC’s Outlook via NPR, Huffington Post, and National Geographic, and their music has been heard on FX’s The Bridge and in a TV commercial for DirecTV.
METALACHI has been named one of the 10 best Mexican Metal Bands worldwide by OC Weekly, was named #4 on a list of the top 20 tribute bands based in Los Angeles by LA Weekly, and was voted as one of the best live shows in Southern California by Examiner.com.
Imonolith – the new metal powerhouse featuring vocalist Jon Howard (Threat Signal, Arkaea), drummer Ryan ‘RVP’ Van Poederooyen (Devin Townsend Project), guitarist Brian Waddell (Devin Townsend Project), bassist Byron Stroud (Strapping Young Lad, Fear Factory), and second guitarist Kai Huppunen (Methods of Mayhem, Noise Therapy) – is making an unforgettable entrance with a brand new official single, “Hollow”, available to stream/download for the first time today.
“Hollow” serves as the perfect introduction to Imonolith, a band whose mission is simple: to write the heaviest riffs, the biggest hooks and most monstrous grooves. Given the impressive pedigree of each player, they do exactly this and more.
Recorded and produced by Brian Howes and Jay Van Poederooyen (Nickelback, Chris Cornell, Airbourne, Hinder, Daughtry) at Van Howes Studios in Los Angeles, California, “Hollow” is immediately setting the bar high – and the best is yet to come.
Drummer Ryan ‘RVP’ Van Poederooyen comments: “‘Hollow’ is a song about the personal battles we all can face internally. Social pressures and self expectation can drive you to a point of feeling hollow inside if you don’t meet specific standards in your mind. The song itself actually has a positive message built into it. It’s not about feeling hollow, it’s more about preventing that hollow feeling that any one of us can develop through negative thinking and limited beliefs.”
Fans can expect many surprises as they unveil more music. RVPcontinues: “As for ‘Hollow’, musically it represents the catchier side of Imonolith’s music. We have varying influences spread throughout the band and we don’t like to play just one style of music. We have a more metal crushing side, a catchier radio side and then music that fits in-between our heavy and catchier vibes. We always aim to make Imonolith’s overall sound diverse and interesting. Most of all, we’re always focused on trying to write a great song, no matter if it’s heavy or catchy.”
Imonolith was officially formed in February 2018 by drummer Ryan ‘RVP’ Van Poederooyen and guitarist Brian Waddell, although the pair started writing their own brand of heavy music in 2015 whilst playing together in the Devin Townsend Project. RVP and Waddell then went on to recruit vocalist Jon Howard, bassist Byron Stroud, and second guitarist Kai Huppunen, completing a fearsome line-up. The Canadian quintet have since written a mass of highly diverse material, which appeals to everyone from the metalhead to the radio rock fan, and everyone in between.
Since teasing demos and video clips online, Imonolith have amassed a dedicated legion of supporters worldwide, and with the release of the new single, their following is set to expand by the thousands. With their first run of shows throughout Canada announced and big international plans in the pipeline, 2019 is set to be a huge year for Imonolith.
Imonolith Confirmed Tour Dates:
February 23 – The Red Room, Vancouver, BC – Tickets March 1 – Dickens, Calgary, AB – Tickets March 2 – Starlite Temple, Edmonton, AB – Tickets
This summer, hip-hop/EDM/hardcore metal crossover project Concrete Dream has released three singles: “Catch 22“, “One Thing“, and now, the new single “Relationshit“. Today, fans can witness the brand new music video for “Relationshit“, directed by Don Capria, via New Noise Magazine. Watch here.
Singer Jeremiah Mayhem says, “This song is about hiding your true self from the people you love. With your significant other, you live the lie because you’re either comfortable or may not want confrontation; which comes with being honest. And as we continue to live the lie, it turns into a ‘relationshit’, not a relationship.”
“All of our new songs are about struggle,” adds Jeremiah. “It is about a cycle in most people’s lives – we love something, we lose it, mess it up, or it leaves us, then we feel pain, and then we find a way to escape the pain. Then we repeat, again and again. This negative to positive cycle drives us forward, and we’re inspired by both the good and the bad.”
Want more? Watch the official music video for “Catch 22“, which originally premiered via Alternative Press, here.
About Concrete Dream
New Jersey-based Concrete Dream exudes a distinct, raw, yet accessible power and clean execution previously unmatched by any artist in the scene. Do not mistake this band for another local – the self-described “trap-metal” quartet are on another level, crafting potent, consistent anthems that will have listeners singing along while still hitting hard as nails.
After tapping the keen production talents of This or the Apocalypse-vocalist-turned-producer Ricky Armellino for each new single, the infectious sound reached the ears of New York hardcore legend Lord Ezec (Crown of Thornz, Skarhead, Danny Diablo), who quickly signed them to his new label, E-Train Records.
“I met Jeremiah Mayhem and immediately liked him,” says Lord Ezec, who signed the band earlier this year to E-Train Records. “He was genuine. He was real. He was like a younger version of me. Once he played me the music I was blown away. I met the band and saw a real tight unit. They care about their music and the message. Their live show says it all and that’s why I knew I needed to sign them. I want to help advance them to get their voices heard.”
Make no mistake, Concrete Dream is a band to watch in 2018.
Don’t miss Concrete Dream performing on August 11th at “Sound Purge“, taking place at Lot 13 in Bayonne, NJ (169 E Ave E). Doors open at 8:00 PM. See here for more details. The band will also perform at the “Why Is Music Important?” gallery in support of the You Rock Foundation for mental health awareness on August 31st. The event will take place at The Cyclorama at Soundwars Studios in Hoboken, NJ from 6:00 – 10:00 PM. Visit this page for more information on the event.
Concrete Dream is:
Jeremiah Mayhem – Vocals John Kennedy – Guitar Alejandro Mena – Bass Juan Bang – Drums
Prepare to be impressed! Infectious pop hooks, exhilarating vocals, hair-raising riffs, and unforgettable melodies are only a fraction of what listeners should expect to hear on A Light Divided‘s upcoming full-length release, Choose Your Own Adventure, releasing to the masses on October 5, 2018. Chock full of catchy, memorable anthems that poise A Light Divided to be the next big pop/metal crossover, Choose Your Own Adventure is an essential listen. Choose Your Own Adventure is available for pre-order now in physical and digital formats.
A Light Divided features the breathtaking, powerhouse pipes of frontwoman Jaycee Clark, plus instrumentation from drummer Adam Smith, bassist Mike Underwood and guitarists Doug Weichbrodt and Colt Crevar. As proven by their work ethic and determination to succeed coupled with their high-intensity live show, A Light Divided have amassed a growing underground army of dedicated fans. Their unique blend of rock and metal with pop sensibility has landed them opportunities to perform on the Vans Warped Tour and with national acts such as In This Moment, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Crowbar.
Get your very first taste of Choose Your Own Adventure with the hooky, high-energy new single and electrifying music video for “Fear of Heights”, directed and filmed by Justin Reich of Antimatter Studios. The video was originally premiered by Alternative Press and can be viewed via the AltPress Facebook page or via YouTube.
Watch the Electrifying New Music Video for the High-Energy Single “Fear of Heights”
“As someone who constantly battles with anxiety and self-image concerns, “Fear of Heights” deals with being afraid to get out of your own way when it comes to relationships,” says vocalist Jaycee Clark. “It’s scary being vulnerable enough to let someone into your inner crazy because what if they don’t like what they find? But for the right person, you realize you have to open up and face those fears or you risk losing everything.”
As made evident on “Fear of Heights”, A Light Divided‘s undeniable songwriting prowess is accented by Choose Your Own Adventure‘s lyrical content. The band explores personal, relevant topics – ranging from relationships to mental health – inspired by their own lives and losses. At the age that important decisions they make now could impact the development of the rest of their lives, all five members of A Light Divided put their own experiences to paper on Choose Your Own Adventure, creating a relatable experience for listeners.
“We underwent a lot of major changes since our last record so, it was really important for Choose Your Own Adventure to reflect all of that growth,” says Jaycee. “We constantly pushed ourselves to step further and further outside our comfort zone and ultimately created a record I couldn’t be more proud of. Lyrically, Choose Your Own Adventure deals with topics like frustration, mental health, loss, betrayal, relationships, hope and continuing to fight for what you love despite those challenges. I think everyone has had those experiences at some point and I hope these songs can help someone to see the light in those dark times.”
Choose Your Own Adventure was produced by Kile Odell (Motionless In White, Cane Hill) and Joshua Landry (Letters From The Fire, Motionless In White). New Noise Magazinecalled the band’s last album, Mirrors, “…one of the most dynamic, diverse and important genre-blended alternative rock albums of the year,” but A Light Divided take the potency to a whole new level on Choose Your Own Adventure.
Choose Your Own Adventure track listing:
1. Make Your Luck 2. Fear of Heights 3. Remedy 4. Another Bar Fight In Brooklyn 5. Life Lessons 6 The War We Watched 7. Scars of You 8. Finding Center 9. Sink Into Nothing 10. Plastic Crowns 11. Counting To Sober 12. Armor and War Paint
PHOENIX — Burning Hot Events brought back our horribly delightful photo booth to the 2nd annual SINister: A Sexy Fetish Party (21 +) at Joe’s Grotto, featuring two stages of entertainment including live bands, sideshow, burlesque & more. As always, the rambunctious crowd from the goth & fetish community were eager to pose for the camera!
To purchase your photos, contact us and we will get back to you promptly. Photos are available as full resolution downloads and prints!
Scottsdale, AZ – For 9 out of 10 years strong, a very special show has been held annually at Pub Rock – a venue formerly named Chasers Bar. A staple in the Industrial/Gothic community, Mustache Massacre is an event that brings together both new and well-known faces alike, for a night that reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously. It’s a free concert with one caveat… you’re only getting in free if you have a mustache.
“Grow it, glue it, draw it, clip it, tape it, make it…So, trim your sister’s armpit hair, shave a dead muskrat, or steal the president’s toupee. ‘Cuz we don’t care where you get the hair, as long as it’s there!…CAN YOUR FACE HANDLE IT?!!!”
The 10th Annual Mustache Massacre (& Wa’s 40th Birthday Bash) featured entertainment by Ikonoklast, 80*D, Goth Brooks, Camel Enamel, Family Secret, and DJs //SHE// & Zander. With these 5 bands bringing industrial, goth, punk, metal, and even a little bit country, 2 DJs, a crowd of characters that weren’t afraid to dance and mosh, a photo booth run by Burning Hot Events, and even a mustache contest, it made for a long, hard, and nutty night.
“Get yo’ bad-ass mo’-fro’ pho-togged to show your grand kids what a freakin’ weirdo you were!”
Check out all of the shots from the photo booth HERE!
Must be hands-free (attached to your face somehow)
No finger mustaches! (drawing on finger and placing to face)
5 o’clock shadow does not count (add some roughage to that stubble!)
The more outrageous, the better! (get creative, there is a contest!)
The mustache contest was after Goth Brooks’ set. Participants stood on stage, and the winner was chosen by an audience vote.
1st place – Mustache Messiah ($50 plus band merch) 2nd place – Bristle Baron ($25 plus band merch)
Phoenix-based hardcore punk-infused metal band American Standards is known for their “piss and vinegar” sound, boasting a well-crafted amalgamation of heavy-handed, technical instrumentals, and brutal yet poetic lyrics that confront societal divides such as corporate greed, media corruption, loss, materialism and personal struggle. Presumably due to their focus on DIY ethics, the group attracted a devoted following in response to their leadership of what has come to be known as the “guerrilla punk” movement in Phoenix. Think of the gritty, raw basement shows we all know and love, except this time American Standards would be there to distribute self-produced compilation CDs as a method of raising money for local causes and charities. Pretty rad, isn’t it?
Online you’ll find American Standards listed as “chaos-driven noise punk” also noting themselves as self-proclaimed “purveyors of fine noise” and “Voted Least Likely to Succeed in 2011″ – the year the band was formed. Don’t let their humor fool you though, the message packaged within the chaos tells something of a deeper story. The group has since been recognized in the form of a regular presence on local radio stations like 98KUPD, RadioPhoenix and TheBlaze in addition to sharing the stage with acts like Atreyu, Comeback Kid, Norma Jean, Every Time I Die and many more.
American Standards’ most recent album “ANTI-MELODY” (which premiered in Revolver Magazine, Alternative Press and Lambgoat) is the group’s fourth release, delving into topics that are undeniably more personal than ever before for its members while simultaneously continuing to deliver on what the band has always been known for: pungent commentary on societal divides and anti-consumerism. This time around however, the development of this album is a distinct reflection of American Standard’s ability to focus through times of struggle while baring it all despite battles with depression after the loss of founding guitarist Cody Conrad to suicide, followed shortly after by the loss of the vocalist Brandon Kellum’s father to cancer.
What would have broken so many other bands transmuted into a powerful point of resonance for American Standards, empowering them to produce an album that not only cuts deep, but holds true to the spirit of the band’s fiercely integral essence.
Writers Block Party
“Writer’s Block Party” might at first sound like pandemonium to an unfocused ear, but with closer listen you’ll quickly discover a lyrical contrast that highlights societal pressures imposed on those who desire success or any place in the limelight. The song immediately portrays the immense impact of these pressures through the band’s eyes; “dancing around like we’re marionettes, a stutter in our step, a cadence in our breath, to the unimpressed…”
This is an opening number that comes out swinging, keeping things hyped while immediately addressing the lyrical heart of the matter which made it an ideal choice for a single. And despite seeking an “easy fix” it’s clear things weren’t so simple as the song goes on to say, “I gave up my heart to find a soul… The clouds came in and the lights went out. We were guided by the roar.”
The metaphorical nature of their lyric choices leave much to interpretation and making space for further connection with their ever-growing fan base, but it can be speculated that this track alludes to the many struggles of avoiding corporate sponsorship in the music industry and beyond. This line in particular encapsulates the track well:
“Remove the spine and the heart. Safe bet, mindset. And claim what’s left as art.”
Carpe Diem, Tomorrow
Although brief in content, the technical aspect of instrumentals included in “Carpe Diem, Tomorrow” are placed well as both a striking opener and stout interludes that highlight a wake-up call just beneath the surface:
“Concrete minds cannot change. Don’t stand still, keep moving. You’ll become what you say you hate.”
Encouraging fans to seize the day, this track utilizes the concept of time to motivate listeners and warn them of the consequences of stagnancy in life. Audibly this track has an underlying rhythm that is a bit similar to that of System of A Down, Throw Down, or Tool; while offering unique lead guitar, which in contrast offers similarities to bands like From First to Last, Trivium, and Hatebreed.
“Church Burner” starts off with an eerie chorus which repeats throughout, but not before laying down some seriously chunky guitar riffs that bring a daunting undertone. The lead guitar and bass notes are undeniably the highlight here, although this is the first sing-scream track to be found on ANTI-MELODY which is to be noted as well.
Lyrically this track is beautiful in the simplicity of its resounding metaphor while still managing to communicate the intensified angst that American Standards fans long for.
“An extremist in boldface type. We’re all people, but compassion doesn’t sell. And there’s no time for independent thought. There are no divisions outside the ones that we create.”
While chaos and hardcore don’t exactly scream “empowerment”, American Standards is clever in the execution of their message. They scatter calls to action throughout each song and foreshadowing for what is to come if the previously mentioned social obstacles aren’t addressed in a way that keeps things moving, so-to-speak. The lyrics go on to say:
“Tear down the walls and build a bridge… We don’t want another title to tell us who we are.”
Bartenders Without Wings
“Bartenders Without Wings” slows things down a bit, sounding more like a classic punk ballad that explores a struggle between man and self. The energy of this track is especially solemn, suggesting the song may be addressing the unexpected loss of founding guitarist Cody Conrad as well as Kellum’s father. “Bartenders Without Wings” also spotlights some inarguable similarities to the sound of now infamous As I Lay Dying.
According to Kellum, ANTI-MELODY is the result of “what started as social commentary on the growing divide in our society” but then became much more personal due to the loss of Conrad and Kellum’s father amidst recording; this track communicated that effortlessly.
Kellum went on to say that the band “went back in to re-record much of the album and in a lot of ways used it as therapy to cope with the experiences.”
Danger Music #9
“Danger Music #9” is a smashing reminder of the dreadful state of conglomerate corporate takeover and a return to the classic American Standards sound, fueled by the pain and grief that lurked in the shadows for these four bandmates at the time. It can be inferred from the lyrics that they are not simply addressing a grandiose idea of anti-consumerism, but more specifically an issue with the intentions and treatments of our healthcare system. Though often choosing to communicate through lyrics that are poetic and/or satirical in nature, “Danger Music #9” takes an unprocessed approach to its confrontation of western culture – particularly medicine, making the lyrics that much more savage in nature.
“You make a beautiful statistic, diamond eyes. Giving incentives to move these units. Prescribe more illness. And we’ll become the money they count behind closed doors. A half a million dead. A third of us next.”
The title may have tipped you off as to what this track is about. The tragic loss of Kellum’s father is uttered through every verse of “Cancer Eater”, tearing from word to word with an energy unmatched by any other song on the album. Instrumentally, “Cancer Eater” is equally as brutal, once again highlighting lead and bass guitar.
Lyrically, however, this track has got to be the most poetic:
“We’re taken hostage by the ones we love, that leave us behind. I can’t be as tough as nails, with this paper skin. And organs that fail. But life moves on, and I’ll go on too… I lived like him. I’ll die like him. Remember me, remember.”
“Broken Culture” is self explanatory in its purpose, erupting with energy right from the start with strategically coalesced vocals and a true hardcore sound that are again unique in their likeness to other tracks on the album if you listen close. Themes of anger, fear and isolation resurface once again, but this time with a more somber tone in wake of its preceding track “Cancer Eater”.
“We had more guns than bullets so, we made pistols with our hands. Where’s the good; there’s evil we must fear. So, pull the trigger and pray the rounds land.”
“Chicago Overcoat” takes all the energy from the seven songs before itself and delivers that consolidated energy as one swift punch in the ear drums before ending on a beautiful piano note. The track is in itself, a crescendo of all-encompassing instrumentals accompanied by a dominating vocal performance by Kellum. “Chicago Overcoat” starts off with the focus on bass and drums as opposed to vocals and lead guitar, making for a pleasantly unrefined, and super-sludgy combo. And yet, there is a tone of desperate release, resentment, and determination to rise above through and through.
ANTI-MELODY took things to the next level for American Standards, allowing fans to get to know the individuals behind these powerful words that leave us feeling a little less misunderstood and a little more at home in the world.
Ever-brutal. And ever-poetic.
It seems, although incredibly tragic, the struggles that American Standards experienced during the making of ANTI-MELODY created a vacuum of emotion yielding an outcome no fans could have predicted. We’re looking forward to seeing where this intimate breakthrough takes them, and eager to listen in as they continue to evolve.
ANTI-MELODY is available now on iTunes, Google Music, Amazon and Spotify or you can pick it up along with exclusive merchandise through the American Standards Bandcamp page.