Hardcore and metal music aren’t some stiff sheet of protection from the elements. These genres are warm blankets when you have a 100 degree fever and your chills are shaking your body relentlessly.
The hardcore and metal genres are reminders that it’s okay to not be okay. Rage, hate and pain should and does course through everyone’s bodies as they’re normal human emotions.
The need to sweat in a pit, feel a bit of blood pumping through an accidentally split lip or accept the sharp pangs in your ears from loud guitars will course through me for a long time. In the chaos of a good pit, there are no rules. Working through the crowds of people to feel an elbow in the stomach is a good sign of a good pit.
My day to day taste in music is driven mostly by my general feelings of the world and myself, as it probably is with many people. Whenever I get the urge for songs to thrash to, I have found a few bands that are worth supporting.
This North Carolina band defines their music as “experimental rock and metal”. They are an arts and media collective working to experiment as much as they can off and on the stage to bring new, chaotic sounds to metal and rock.
One of my friends introduced me to this band, and I enjoy what they do and that they are local. I haven’t been able to go to one of their live local shows, but I’ve heard they try to make their performances theatrical and thrashable, which is all I ever want out of most concerts.
Some of their tracks are a little lost on me. For example, I found “A Town Called Liberty” to be a bit corny, but kind of in a good way. Still not sure about it. It’s not the metal I listen to them for, so I toss it aside.
Some of my favorite tracks of theirs are “kill_me” and “I’m Not Going to Die a Horrible, Gruesome Death (And Other Hilarious Jokes You Can Tell Yourself)”. These tracks are roughly 5 minutes long and have heart pounding instrumental sections and good old metal screams too.
One special aspect of Impulse Machine is their lyricism and vocals. I think their lead singer sounds great when he sings and when he does his metal terror rampage, which I can’t find when I listen to many metal bands.
Gulch is one of those special metal bands that instantly connected with me. Their hard, fast rhythms, intense vocals and lyrics sucked me in immediately, and I don’t want to stop listening to their music when it’s over so quickly.
A few of my favorite tracks include “Sin in My Heart”, “Lie, Deny, Sanctify” and “R.S.A”. All these tracks pierce right through your ears and electrify you in the process. Specifically, “R.S.A” brings that beautiful coarse guttural metal noise and then explodes into a flash of fury that makes me start punching the air.
Also, one of my favorite parts of “Lie, Deny, Sanctify” is the opening screech from the guitar. The drums on this track bring an incredible dark beat to the deep sounds of the guitar and bass, and all this makes this short song burn right through your ears (in a good way of course).
As a small, new band, the only thing I hold against them is that they don’t have enough music. I am craving more tracks and albums from them, but I will have to keep waiting for them to produce more in the future.
I have so little information about Lexan it’s disappointing. All I know is that they’re from Ohio and they have one EP that was released earlier this year in February, but all that is okay because they released some banging tracks.
Their four songs off their “Demo” EP pump me full of death defying energy. The raspy vocals of this punk group work well with the rhythm guitar, bass and drums. Basically, their sounds combine, making a chaotic scene of rage feel comforting and moshable at the same time.
I found “Man Made Ultra” to be my favorite of their four songs so far, as I like its lyrics the most:
“Polycarbonate fused to the hate,
Now im a carcass even earth wouldn’t eat.
I’m man made, ultra, plastic monster.”Lyrics from Lexan’s song “Man Made Ultra“
Lexan is a hardcore punk band, so their lyrics are understandably dark and dreary. The whole EP talks about being a plastic monster of a man, which is a neat way to express the hollowness of the world surrounding the artists and emotions they might feel.
Some Concluding Thoughts
All three of these young bands are still making music and trying to find their footing in the music industry. I appreciate their unique qualities and perspectives that they have brought to the hardcore punk and metal genres.
I hope you all have been able to gain some comfort from the raging and screaming as I do, but I completely understand if the music doesn’t “click”. Absorbing other people’s emotions through music and art presents new perspectives to learn from and adapt ourselves better, which is why I try to involve myself with increasingly diverse content to appreciate the lives around me a bit more every day.