Holy Rivals – Holy Rivals
Holy Rivals is a promising new trio hailing from Pittsburgh who amalgamate grunge, noise rock and sludge into a throat-punching blend. The band’s debut self-titled EP features six gritty tracks that simultaneously knock out teeth and stick in the mind. The EP begins with the grimy, muscular rhythmic burst of “Locked In”. The guitars and bass struggle for dominance on this track as they churn out pummeling, Helmet-esque grooves. Vocalist Jason Orr is at the heart of this AmRep worship with his commanding, snarky vocal rasp. The track “Loathe” features driving chord progressions reminiscent of Bleach-era Nirvana, interwoven with chugging dissonant beatdowns and sludgy grooves. The sludge metal side of their potent sound is fully actualized on the thunderous “Sleep”. The slow-burning tune, which ironically sounds like Sleep, is comprised of down-tuned, hazy-eyed doom and gloom that will compel stoners everywhere to roll one up. More sludgy goodness can be found on the nearly eight-minute stormer “Into Dust”. The track combines the band’s penchant for infectious groove with grungy flair and cacophonous noise. Although the tune has a tendency to meander a bit, it is nonetheless crushing. Holy Rivals is heavy, catchy, no frills and is a must listen for fans of angsty 90s alternative and Amphetamine Reptile recordings. This Pennsylvanian act is one to watch out for.
Release Date: May 25, 2016
Favorite Tracks: “Locked In”, “Voices” and “Loathe”
For Fans Of: Helmet, Nirvana and Hoover
Vivre sa Vie – Demo
Stockholm quartet Vivre sa Vie use scathing, high octane screamo as a vessel to address introspective topics of depression and anxiety, as well as gender dysphoria and transgender issues. Lyrical themes of this nature warrant music that is highly emotionally-charged and, naturally, this Swedish has got it covered. Their six-track demo, which serves as a precursor to their impending debut LP, pays homage to the genre’s progenitors while playing with aspects of the modern incarnation of screamo. “Together, Always” opens up the record with a back-and-forth struggle between icy post-hardcore melodies and trashing bouts of screamo chaos, all of which are propelled by pain-stricken vocals. “War” follows shortly after with a collection of knife-sharp, melancholic melodies that bleed effortlessly into dissonant, angular madness. Tracks like “Mothers/Daughters” come stampeding out of gate with somber yet driving instrumentation that could cause even the most calloused of individuals to feel something. Then there are cuts like the shape-shifting “Sinking, Still Sinking”, which unleash charging, intricate riffs that shift unpredictably into cold, post-rock meditations, and cacophonous riff salads. Though it doesn’t offer anything groundbreaking for the genre, this demo does possess the heart and raw emotionality that gives screamo its merit. Listeners who want to get deep in their feelings today need to check this little release out.
Release Date: March 12, 2016
Favorite Tracks: “Together, Always”, “War” and “Shame and Disgust”
For Fans Of: Orchid, City of Caterpillar, Youth Funeral and Touche Amore