Owen Morawitz

Writer and Independent Scholar


I’m a freelance writer and independent scholar with a focus on alternative music, film, culture, and media. My writing has been featured in Bandcamp, The Line of Best Fit, Grammy.com, SPIN, BrooklynVegan, Exclaim!, New Noise, and No Echo.

I co-host and produce The Pitch of Discontent, a weekly 'music + talk' podcast on alternative music available through Spotify and as an email newsletter through Substack.

I have a BA (Hons Class I) with majors in English Literature and Philosophy. My academic work has been featured in online journals and annual conferences, with book chapters to be published in forthcoming edited collections from Palgrave Macmillan, Peter Lang and Routledge Press.

Review: Softcult Face the Abyss on 'see you in the dark'

The duo's latest offering, see you in the dark, continues their descent into heavier subject matter with an air of raw vulnerability, diving headfirst into a metaphorical "abyss" to confront personal demons, social frustrations and their innermost fears.

30 Classic Emo & Post-Hardcore Albums Turning 20 in 2023

By the time AFI released their major label debut and mainstream breakthrough Sing the Sorrow, they'd already been a band for over a decade and they solidified their classic four-piece lineup and their trademark horror punk/goth hybrid across two masterful albums, 1999's Black Sails in the Sunset and 2000's The Art of Drowning.

Byte Size: Idiot Box - Part IV

Ah, yes. Another year, another crop of easily digestible EM-wave distractions. I spent most of the recent Xmas/New Year period taking time off work in a vain attempt to catch up on my ever-growing list of wanton media consumption.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Honest Crooks - 'The Sounds of Hell'

So then, what exactly does Hell sound like? Well, according to Honest Crooks, it’s a ferocious and volatile mix of death metal technicality slamming headfirst into the seismic grooves of beatdown hardcore. Take the record’s lead single, last year’s “Serpent of Old,” which slithers around Calum Johnstone’s buzzsaw riffage and a pummelling rhythm section before dropping into a cavernous, drop-tuned stomp section that should be tried, convicted, and summarily executed for crimes against...

Ecstatic Ephemera: (I've Found) The Cure to Growing Older

Okay, ignore that intentionally misleading title. I was just trying on that trope of annoying and unnecessary parentheses usage. (As it turns out, it still fits.) And as my increasingly grey hair will attest, I have, in fact, not found the cure to growing older.

Review: Fucked Up's 'One Day' Captures the Band at Their Most Urgent

What One Day achieves then, unshackled by this lingering desire for overarching grand narratives, is the purest distillation of that "lightning in a bottle" frenzy, capturing the collective's creative spark at its most urgent — that is: less bells, all whistles.

Word Salad: Everything I Read in 2022

I'm not a big "New Year's Resolution" kind of guy. But I'm also the type of person who's motivated by setting pointless, arbitrary goals and trying arduously to achieve them. For 2022, my goal was to read 52 books. A modest goal, you might say, with only one book a week.

Deep Cuts #22: AFI - 'Sing the Sorrow'

Last November, Californian punk rockers AFI announced that they would play their acclaimed sixth studio album, 2003's Sing the Sorrow, in full for the first and (reportedly) only time in their storied 32-year-long career.

Byte Size: Best Films of 2022

According to my Letterboxd Watch List tracker, I watched a total of 57 recent release films in 2022, which is one more than last year. (Hell yeah. Suck it, 2021.) While it was a pretty mixed bag overall, with plenty of stinkers, disappointments and big studio comic book slop (more on that to come), there were still a few diamonds in that rough.

In Review: Top 10 Albums of 2022

According to my Last.fm stats, I've listened to close to 3000 albums this year, and a vast portion of those would be new releases. That's a stupid amount of new music for one person to sort through; however, it's also something that brings me unending joy and provides a justifiable reason for doing this newsletter (and now podcast) week in and week out.

In Review: Top 10 EPs of 2022

Well, shit. That went by all too quickly, didn't it? It feels like only a few weeks have passed since my mid-year roundup, and yet here we are. End of the line once again. As is tradition, we'll start this hallowed End-of-Year list season with a roundup of exceptional non-album releases.

25 Great Canadian Albums You Might Have Missed in 2022

We've already shared our lists of the 50 best albums and 25 best songs of 2022 — but that barely scratches the surface of how many great Canadian albums came out in the past 12 months. For listeners looking to dig a little deeper into Canada's bounty of albums released in 2022, we've rustled up our favourite Canadian records that might've flown under your radar this year. From the return of sorely missed local heroes to fresh starts from familiar faces and a number of head-turning debuts,...

The Nu-Normal #21: The Spooling Present

For the last few weeks, the future has weighed on my mind. It was in the feverish search for coherent thoughts on our collective desire for futurity that I came across a quote from acclaimed sci-fi author and environmentalist Kim Stanley Robinson, taken from his 2009 novel Galileo's Dream: "There was nothing for it but to pace through just behind or ahead of the spooling present that was never there, caught in the nonexistent interval between the nonexistent past and the nonexistent future."

No Echo
Best Hardcore Records of 2022: No Echo Contributor Picks

As 2022 winds down, I'll be posting some year-end features on No Echo to help spread the love for hardcore releases that dropped throughout the last 12 months. Today, I'm excited to share the Best Hardcore Records of 2022 list from some of No Echo's contributing writers.

Exclaim!'s 20 Best Films of 2022

Horror and cinematic events reigned supreme in 2022. For the first time in what has felt like a long time, movies dominated conversations outside of film circles. Tom Cruise's gamble to keep the much-awaited sequel to Top Gun away from streaming services paid off in spades. Big names like Steven Spielberg and Jordan Peele returned to our screens with spectacle, and the Predator franchise returned with a vicious bang (albeit on Disney+).

Ecstatic Ephemera: All The Good Things

I cannot remember the last time I went to an all-day festival. It's likely not been quite a decade or less. However, what I do know for certain is that my body is not, nor will it likely ever be, completely ready to engage in these sorts of shenanigans again.

Exclaim!'s 50 Best Albums of 2022

This year had a jam-packed release schedule, with some bands dropping more than one album, and others releasing grand opuses that felt years in the making. Anyone who had been waiting to release an album until touring reopened did so this year. The result is a year of grand, ambitious statements: a soul-searching double album from arguably the world's most acclaimed rapper, a dance-floor expiration by a generation-defining pop star, the experimental R&B opus from an adventurous violinist, and...

Wayback Machine: Remembering Gared O'Donnell

Gared O'Donnell was the vocalist, guitarist, and founding member of American Midwest post-hardcore outfit Planes Mistaken For Stars. During the band's twenty-year career, O'Donnell performed on four full-length albums, five EPs, and three compilation albums. On November 25th, 2021, O'Donnell passed away at the age of 44 after years of struggling with treatment for stage III esophageal cancer.

Byte Size: Idiot Box - Part III

Well, shit. Didn't that year disappear in the blink of an eye? The end of 2022 looms just over the horizon, which means it's time to wrap up my Idiot Box series with a final list of quality streaming selections.

On Podcasts

Look, I know what you're thinking. Does the world really need another podcast? The answer, I hope will agree, dear reader, is an emphatic " yeah, dawg." In addition to this newsletter, I've now decided to add more stress to my already buckling workload and turn The Pitch into an alternative music podcast.

The Nu-Normal #20: A Portrait of the AI as an Artist

Back in August, I wrote about the phenomenon of retroactive editing and its impact on considerations of art: My conclusions in that piece largely hinged on weighing up two different philosophical positions, namely those of artistic integrity and aesthetic sincerity.

Ecstatic Ephemera: Aussie Hardcore Essentials

Last week, a list featuring " The 50 Best Hardcore Albums of the 21st Century " was doing the rounds on Twitter and, naturally, pissing people off for days on end. Now, as a writer myself, I don't want to judge the contributors to this list or their selections.

Deep Cuts #20: Pallbearer - 'Sorrow and Extinction'

Release: February 21st, 2012 For reasons I've only truly begun to grasp a decade on, 2012 was a transitional year for me. I was turning 24, largely disaffected at an emotional level, and looking for new experiences to enrich the internal perception of my otherwise mundane (and, it must be stated, largely privileged and trauma-free) private life.

The Line of Best Fit
Witch Fever are on the rise | Interview

Manchester's Witch Fever are leaning on lived experience to redefine religious ties and the inherent power of women. The expression "Never discuss politics or religion in polite company" has been repeated so often that it's become something of a colloquial truism.

Byte Size: Spooky Season Scream Fare

As is tradition, I will start this newsletter entry with a confession: I'm kind of a wimp. There, I said it. I've never really enjoyed "horror" movies or anything tangential to the spooky season. Your slashers, your body horrors, your torture porn, etc.

The Nu-Normal #19: 2012 - A Clear-Eyed Retrospective

I'm going to level with you here, folks. I've been incredibly busy over the last week or so, and I'm feeling a little burnt out. Between catching up on work, rushing to meet already agreed-upon deadlines, and working on existing projects I had (reluctantly) put on the back burner, I've barely had any time to scour the Internet for a timely topic to discuss in this month's column.

Ecstatic Ephemera: Nitpicking 90s

Earlier this week, music discourse arbiters Pitchfork decided to reevaluate a series of lists for that most maligned of decades: the naughty nineties. It seems that the third time is truly the charm for Pitchfork, considering that the publication had already served up versions of their "Best Music of the 1990s" takes in 2003 and 2010, respectively.

Deep Cuts #19: Hatebreed - 'The Rise of Brutality'

Release: October 28th, 2003 Label: Universal Music Group This one will differ slightly from my usual Deep Cuts retrospective format, but I promise it has the goods. So, aahhh, bear with me, okay? Cool? Cool. Despite what you may assume based purely on their name, metalcore progenitors Hatebreed aren't solely focused on feelings of loathing, disgust, and pessimistic sentiments of intense negativity.

Byte Size: Mile High Movie Magic

We all know that flying sucks, right? This isn't some dark, mystic truth to be revealed to you now in this chosen moment. If you've ever flown internationally, for a stretch of time beyond say three or four hours, then you will know just how dire things get as time marches on without care or concern and the primal degradations of humanity begin to pile up on some bleak exponential curve.

Wayback Machine: Age of the Mastodon

Back in March, I was fortunate enough to publish a lengthy retrospective piece on Atlanta prog-metal giants Mastodon for GRAMMY.com, in celebration of the group's Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance (which they eventually lost to Dream Theater; sad!)

Byte Size: Idiot Box - Part II

With the first half of this diabolical year well and truly done and dusted, it's time for another installment in my ongoing Idiot Box series. This particular sampling of streaming paraphernalia has many ups, downs, and curious asides: alternate history and gritty urban realism, absurd reenactments and meticulous recreations, inner mysteries and outer unknowns, cerebral mindfuckery and cephalopod intercourse.

The Nu-Normal #18: The Long Retcon

Lately, I've noticed an interesting trend developing in a number of distinct yet comfortably related media spaces. Since the mid-2000s, the gaming industry has operated with the capability to implement "bug patches" for online and console users, designed to fix and maintain sprawling MMO-RPG platforms while also updating and tweaking their products and services for the growing needs of consumers and (*ahem*) their all mighty bottom line.

Astral Auguries: Elliott

Like all music fans, I have my blind spots. The nature of this newsletter beat of mine means that, on a typical week, I'll spend around seven hours a day listening to music. That rabid consumption usually equates to 25-30 albums and hundreds of individual songs, with 47% representing new first-time listens. (Thanks, last.fm. Isn’t data surveillance fun?)

Ecstatic Ephemera: Be Def and Tone (For Ever)

I make a lot of playlists. (Editor's note: Like, a lot.) One of the more curious trends I've noticed from a crop of new releases this year is a decidedly Deftones-inflected revival of 2000s alt-metal. You know the deal. Stop-start sections. Heavy drops. Whisper vocals. Guttural screams. Maybe the odd turntable scratch throwback.

Deep Cuts #18: Coliseum - 'Sister Faith'

In his scene report for Bandcamp titled "A Guide to Louisville Post-Hardcore," Kevin Warwick outlines how the bustling Kentucky hub worked to distinguish itself from other alternative American hotspots like Seattle, Washington and San Diego during the major-label clamouring years of the 90s and 00s.

No Echo
Fixtures: Seattle Post-Hardcore Trio Go Raw on New Live EP

With a mathy, angular sound that would make post-hardcore luminaries Fugazi and These Arms Are Snakes sweat bullets, Seattle outfit Fixtures are perfectly suited to the live environment. On their latest release, the follow-up to their debut full-length, 2021's Life In Retreat, the trio-Kyle Shaffer (guitar/vocals), Jeff Bartlett (bass), and Matt Maisano (drums)-decided they needed a location befitting their serpentine sonic profile.

Byte Size: Post-Infinity Blues

With the release of Thor: Love and Thunder this week-the fourth stand-alone Thor film in Disney's global cinematic juggernaut, the follow-up sequel to director Taika Waititi's wildly successful Thor: Ragnarok (2017) and the 29th (!) film in the MCU-I thought it might be pertinent to check in on how the neverending franchise's Phase Four, post- Infinity Saga content cycle was going.

The Nu-Normal #17: Did Google Do an AI Soul Whoopsie?

Last month, Google engineer Blake Lemoine made headlines around the world for a truly bonkers claim. As reported by the Washington Post and other outlets, as part of Lemoine's responsibilities within Google's Responsible AI organization, the engineer had regular contact with LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications), an advanced large-language model that mimicked human speech faculties by synthesising internet data for combinatory words and phrases that number in the trillions.

In Review: Best of 2022 (So Far)

Once again, it's that time of year, folks! Publications big and small are throwing their hats in the List Game and, here at The Pitch, I'm certainly not going to pass over a good opportunity for curated recommendations. At present, my Weekly Roundup playlist (follow that one here if you haven’t already) is pushing 200+ tracks and clocking in at more than 12 hours of material. All-new, all-great, and well worth your time and attention.

Deep Cuts #17: Pantera - 'Far Beyond Driven'

Like most influential heavy acts of the twentieth century, my relationship with Pantera has taken the form of a reverse chronology. By the time the Texan metal powerhouse had released their seminal albums-1990's now-iconic Cowboys from Hell and its equally revered 1992 follow-up Vulgar Display of Power-I was only four years old.

Byte Size: The Worst Films of 2022 (So Far)

Well, we're barely halfway through 2022 (Woah, is that how time works? Stop the planet; where do I get off?), and I've already subjected myself to a veritable litany of questionable film experiences, from both the safety of my couch and in a real bonafide theatre with strangers and willing members of the public.

The Nu-Normal #16: I Fetishize, Therefore I Am

There's a lot going on in this week's column. I take a look at a recent controversy and trend surrounding a number of high-profile musicians receiving pressure from various record labels to generate (read: fake) 'viral' moments on TikTok.

Wayback Machine: Remembering Trevor Strnad

On May 11, 2022, Michigan metallers The Black Dahlia Murder announced that co-founder and frontman Trevor Scott Strnad had passed away at the age of 41. "It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Trevor Scott Strnad. Beloved son, brother, and Shepard of good times, he was loved by all that met him.

Deep Cuts #16: It Dies Today - 'The Caitiff Choir'

If there was a definitive tipping point for the metalcore, it would be the Year of Our Lord 2004. With the second wave in full swing throughout the early years of the new millennium, this particular temporal convergence saw the release of several classic records from dedicated mainstays alongside early-career entries from future subgenre all-stars.

No Echo
SPEED: Sydney Hardcore Crew Comes Out Swinging on "Not That Nice"

After putting Sydney hardcore on the map last year with the righteous hard style of their viral " We See U " single, SPEED are back on the block, and this time they're going global. They racked up profiles for Rolling Stone and Vans, alongside an announcement for their first trip to North America, with a coveted appearance at this year’s Sound and Fury fest in Los Angeles, alongside labelmates Scowl, Zulu, and more. If previous sets are any indication, their US debut is going to be one for...

Byte Size: What's in the Mystery Box?

I started watching Outer Range last week. It's billed as a "science fiction neo-Western mystery thriller," and that description alone pretty much sums up the visual media consumption habits of my entire life, so I was already on board from the jump.

8 Emerging Canadian Artists You Need to Hear in May 2022

Meet Exclaim!'s latest New Faves, including a Nova Scotian pop experimentalist and Montreal's most unrelenting punks Our latest crew of emerging Canadian artists are equal parts funny and sad, insular and energetic, brash and gentle. There's a little bit of something for everyone, another reminder that Canadian musicians push boundaries and pluck at heartstrings like no others.

The Nu-Normal #15: Pro-Choice as Protest

In a week like this one, it's difficult to write about anything else. I mean, look, I certainly tried. But do you really wanna read about how Machine Gun Kelly isn't representative of rock as a genre, or how Hollywood's dire fascination with green-lighting music biopics is mainly just an excuse for celebrity wish-casting and rehashing dated fantasies about the rock'n'roll lifestyle as a forlorn romanticised ideal?

Astral Auguries: Coué Method

As a budding philosopher/music journalist, I'm often struck by how the unconscious mind manifests thoughts from the murky firmament of memory, dredging things up and stitching them together in a stream-of-consciousness that (to outsides appearances) has no real connective tissue apart from vague likeness and casual suggestion.

Deep Cuts #15: At The Gates - 'Slaughter of the Soul'

Artist: At The Gates Title: Slaughter of the Soul Release: November 14th, 1995 Label: Earache Records What does it mean to say that an album is a 'classic'? In tracking the evolution of musical subgenres, classic albums typically fall into two categories: simplification through stellar execution or subversion through unexpected experimentation.

Byte Size: Idiot Box - Part I

I started tutoring some university courses this semester, and while it's great and I'm enjoying the work, it's devastated my planned reading list for this year. Which, I have to confess, has kind of bummed me out. I really do love my little tree squares.

The Nu-Normal #14: Are The Grammys Out of Touch?

Okay, I know what you're thinking. "Owen," my noble and aesthetically acculturated subscribers will say, "does anyone give a shit about The Grammys?" And to that, dear reader, I say, "Well, maybe... kind of... probably not."

Ecstatic Ephemera: Under Covers

Synchronicity is a crazy thing. Psychologist Carl Jung (1875-1961) described the phenomenon as "circumstances that appear meaningfully related yet lack a causal connection." In other words, coincidences. Earlier this week, I saw that metalcore OGs Evergreen Terrace had announced a tour Down Under for later this year, which made me reflect on seeing them many years ago and how time works.

Deep Cuts #14: Killing The Dream - 'In Place Apart'

The live music experience has been a huge element of my life for over seventeen years-almost half my time spent on this godforsaken planet. I've been to so many hardcore shows, basement matinees, metal gigs, and multi-day festival line-ups that it's quite literally impossible for me to recount them all.

Byte Size: The Absurdist Masculinity of Danny McBride

For years now, I've considered Danny McBride one of Hollywood's most talented and idiosyncratic actors. Sure, he has a certain 'schtick' and comfortably plays the same kind of guy in most projects, but there's just something strangely alluring and effectively hilarious about McBride's portrayal of absurdist masculinity.

The Nu-Normal #13: Swing and a Mitski

In this week's column, we'll take a look at some Music Twitter Drama™, the rigours of culture writing, and the philosophical implications of ever-increasing technological advances disrupting previously sacred artistic zones. It's going to be fun-I promise!-and I'm also going to gleefully put on my "Big Brain" hat (gotta put that philosophy degree to work somehow), so stick around and buckle up.

Ecstatic Ephemera: Nu Grunge

I was watching the four-part docu-series Punk (2019) this week and one interview stuck with me. During the final episode, Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman, lead guitarist for California pop-punk outfit The Offspring, comments on the rise of the Seattle grunge scene in the early 90s, going so far as to declare that Nirvana were more like a "punk band."

Bandcamp Daily
Vein.fm Explore the Horrors of the Mind on "This World Is Going To Ruin You"

In many ways, solitude can be a double-edged sword. As Anthony DiDio, vocalist for Boston metalcore bruisers, says: "Being alone, or even just being at home, whether literally or figuratively, can be more expansive than the outside world around you." There’s an intensity of perception that coincides with extended periods of isolation, a state of awareness and hyper-vigilance that can—under the right conditions—lead to despair and delirium. Or, as DiDio puts it: “Because of how much shit you...

Deep Cuts #13: The Afghan Whigs - 'Black Love'

Artist: The Afghan Whigs Release: March 12th, 1996 Label: Elektra Records Listen here: Spotify | Youtube I still remember where I was when I heard this collection of songs for the first time. It's a locus of discovery forever etched into my brainpan with the rough, raised edges of a permanent cigarette burn.

Byte Size: Ranking R.O.L.A.N.D.

Okay, before we get too excited here, I have a disclaimer to make: I have not, as of writing, witnessed the glory that is Moonfall. It's been a busy few weeks and I'm currently away on business, so catching up on the latest flick has taken the back-seat as a priority.

The 40 Best Emo Love Songs

While emo might be most associated with heartbreak, those lovelorn artists couldn't have written such songs without experiencing some serious romantic highs.

The Nu-Normal #12: Let's Talk About HitPiece

Your favourite monthly music column is back, baby! Now with even less editorial oversight! (Note: it's hard to have less than zero, but someone has to do it.) Last week, the HitPiece fiasco was doing the rounds in various music press outlets and it's now crossed over into 'serious' mainstream coverage.

Ecstatic Ephemera: Known Pleasures

Over the last few years, we've been experiencing a resurgence of world-class post-punk. Whether it's Molchat Doma and their Belarusian darkwave retro-futurism, Sydney-siders Royal Headache and their achingly affectionate working-class sing-a-longs, or the harsh diatribes spewing from the mouth of Nottingham fixtures Sleaford Mods -all of these groups and more embody the avant-garde sensibilities and left-of-centre influences that make post-punk so rich and dynamic.

Word Salad: Everything I Read in 2021

Like most people caught in the ideological vice grip of late-stage capitalism, I have a consumption problem. Which is to say, more pointedly, that I own wayyyyy too many books.

Deep Cuts #12: He Is Legend - 'Suck Out The Poison'

Like most subgenre descriptors born of the Internet and/or lazy music journalism, ‘Southern metalcore’ is admittedly a bit of a head-scratcher. While the term has ostensibly come to represent metalcore acts with a stylistic flair for incorporating the ‘Southern rock’-isms of the American South—that is, disparate elements of hard rock (or ‘butt rock’ to its detractors), country, sludge, psych and folk—it’s not exactly a geographically consistent moniker.

Byte Size: Best Films of 2021

I know what you're thinking. Yes, this list is technically 'late' and it's already a new year. But look-I don't make the rules, okay? If studios continue to schedule and drop new films all the way up to December 31st, how can I, in good conscience, try to make an accurate EOY list without letting the counter run all the way out?

Hit Factory
Podcast: No Escape feat. Owen Morawitz

Listen to this episode from Hit Factory on Spotify. On our first episode of the new year, Owen Morawitz returns to discuss the 1994 action-thriller 'No Escape', a film set on the maximum security island prison of Absolom in the dystopian future of 2022.

Review: The Matrix Resurrections

It's fitting that a film like The Matrix Resurrections-the long-rumoured sequel to the groundbreaking film trilogy written and directed by Lana and Lilly Wachowski-begins and ends in a simulation. This is, after all, the same franchise that mainstreamed a pop philosophy approach to the Simulation Hypothesis, and firmly cemented the notion of being "red-pilled" into the parlance of our (increasingly troubled) times.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Agnes Vein - 'Deathcall'

'Deathcall' is driven by grinding, stern forbearance. Much like their peers in Candlemass, Neurosis, and Bathory, Greek trio Agnes Vein skew towards the darker attitudes of the metal spectrum, with wider doom influences and bursts of black metal intensity providing primordial texture and friction.

In Review: Top 10 Albums of 2021

Alright, we're here folks. After almost 100 newsletter entries, 400 songs, and over 27 hours of music (and that's just for the playlist), we've finally arrived at my hallowed Albums of the Year list for 2021. This year's crop is about as bi-polar as musical taste can get.

No Echo
Best Hardcore Records of 2021: Contributor Picks

It's that time of season when music websites start posting their year-end lists, and No Echo is no different. I say it all the time, but without the help of so many great contributors, this site wouldn't be as strong as it is.

Exclaim!'s 12 Best TV Shows of 2021

TV has been stealing attention away from movies for years, but in 2021, that transition felt complete. With cinemas throughout much of Canada closed for a chunk of the year, there were no big -style theatrical events. Instead, seemingly every big cinematic moment of 2021 took place on the small screen.

Byte Size: Best TV of 2021

In 2021, it's all too easy to have quality television on demand. Free-to-air is dead, long live the age of streaming. However, I do think it's incredibly telling that in compiling a list of great TV shows for this year, only four streaming services are required.

In Review: Top 10 EPs of 2021

We all know that December is the time for those highly-coveted 'Album of the Year' lists and self-aggrandizing Spotify Wrapped posts. But what about those less lengthy and more creatively concentrated projects? The hallowed EP and the svelte 7-inch?

Astral Auguries: Fall of Efrafa

Well, folks, this latest entry of Astral Auguries was a fun one. While working on an earlier version of this piece, I managed to accidentally fall down a deep, dark Bandcamp rabbit-hole before landing on a trio of entirely different records that left a lasting impression on my already overloaded psyche. After several twists, turns, and hastily opened tabs, we’re finally here to talk about Brighton emo-crust/sludge purveyors Fall of Efrafa.

Deep Cuts #11: Bury Your Dead - S/T

In defense of an eponymous sleeper and the ultimate workout record. In my review of Birmingham progressive metalcore outfit ERRA’s latest record (it’s really good, check it out), I mapped out my feelings on why certain bands choose to go down the “self-titled” route when naming a new album: "Self-titled records typically serve as cautionary artifacts in the realm of heavy music. In most cases, they act as a form of introduction—the defining statement for a young group at the beginning of...

Netflix's Live-Action 'Cowboy Bebop' Struggles to Carry That Weight

If there's one thing Hollywood loves, it's taking an existing IP with a built-in fanbase and repackaging it in both form and content for new (and existing) audiences. For this reason alone, adaptations have become the dominant cultural logic of media production for this millennium, generating billions in revenue from every conceivable property type.

Byte Size: Comic Eclecticism

Last week I went to the premiere of the MCU's latest blockbuster instalment and ahhh... it's not good, folks. Here's a preview of my luke-warm takes: " Eternals is a muddled misfire of cosmic proportions and a welcome reminder that Feige & Co are only human after all."

On Milestones

Well, we did it, folks. I've officially been publishing this newsletter for one whole year, and that feels pretty wild. Once again, thank you to everyone for coming along for the ride and not immediately moving me to the Junk folder. It truly means a lot.

Review: Eternals

Sometimes art imitates life in ways that are both fascinating and unintentional. There’s a moment in Eternals where the titular alien superhero team are quite literally at each other’s throats. After their arrival in ancient Mesopotamia several thousand years ago, we’re shown a group of benevolent and immortal protectors created by the god-like Celestials that have (mostly) lived out their lives in secret, guarding Earth and protecting humanity from a ravaging race of alien creatures known as...

Your Attention Span Won't Survive 'Invasion'

Ever since author H.G. Wells upset the sensibilities of Victorian-era England with his depiction of humanity at conflict with a Martian enemy in 1897's The War of the Worlds, our popular imagination has been fascinated by ideas of "first contact."

'Foundation' Wants to Be 'Game of Thrones' in Space and Almost Takes the Crown

In the wake left by Game of Thrones, all the big streaming services seem to be on the hunt for the next big fantasy epic. Amazon Prime is all in on adaptations of The Wheel of Time and The Lord of the Rings, Netflix has fully committed to The Witcher with promising results, and HBO is doubling down on what already worked with a slew of Game of Thrones prequels and peripheral in-universe ventures.

Ecstatic Ephemera: FEATID

Radical, the ninth full-length album from Buffalo mainstays Every Time I Die, has only been out for not quite a week and it's already one of my favourite records of the year. The centre of the album hinges on two incredible tracks— “All This and War” and “Thing With Feathers”—that both offer great guest features while also having completely different sonic profiles. So, I wanted to put together the definitive list of ETID guest features from across their illustrious twenty-year career and...

Deep Cuts #10: Botch - 'American Nervoso'

Discordant molten mathcore from the End of History. Earlier this month, it was announced that legendary chaos merchants Botch had signed to Sargent House Records. And of course, the internet lost its collective shit over the news. Had the band reformed for good? Would there be a new album? Why now?

Review: Every Time I Die's Ninth Album Gives a 'Radical' Edge to Their Dark Metalcore

Longevity and critical acclaim notwithstanding, it's a bold move for any musical outfit to label their new record Radical. After all, using a term this symbolically-loaded can easily be viewed as an open invitation for polyvalent readings. Could it be an indicator of stylistic variance? A grand gesture towards progressive philosophy?

New Noise Magazine
Review: Don Broco - 'Amazing Things'

One of the critiques often levelled at rock music is that it's both functionally and formally "dead," a genre of little to no relevance in terms of mainstream cultural production; a shambling husk of zombified pastiche for earlier and more efficacious periods of prominence and creative vision.

Byte Size: Hunting Humans

"Oh, what's that #457? I must have misunderstood you. You're saying that you don't know what Squid Game is? Well then, no bother. Perhaps we can find other ways to allow you to continue playing...." (See what I did there?) ((We have fun.)) Here's a list of great and not-so-great films about murder, games and murder games.

The Nu-Normal #11: Art, Scores and Subjectivity Pt. II

Okay, look. I know I covered this stuff for the newsletter last month. And I wasn't planning on making this a twofer. But I've been away on vacation having a very stressful time on sandy beaches and road-tripping through rainforests in a rental van and generally avoiding the Internet at all costs.

La Dispute's 'Wildlife' turns 10 – A look back on the sprawling post-hardcore opus

Here's a question: What do we mean when we say a given record is timeless? Is it simply a matter of longevity and staying power? Some fanciful combination of critical consensus, legacy and cultural influence? Is it a nostalgic thread sewn into the memory of the listener; one they dare not pull for fear of unravelling fragile ideas of the self?

Deep Cuts #09: Gallows - 'Grey Britain'

Rage and ruin in the fallen wasteland of Rule Britannia. 'Grey Britain,' the second full-length album from UK hardcore outfit Gallows, is one of my favourite records of all time and one of the most underrated albums of the millennium. I’m hard-pressed to think of a punk rock album from the last two decades that has as much bite, thematic weight, and pure, unadulterated rage on display as this thirteen-track behemoth. It’s a truly staggering record that continues to floor me in new ways twelve...

New Noise Magazine
Interview: Don Broco Vocalist Rob Damiani on Fourth Album, 'Amazing Things'

After the runaway success of their third studio album, 2018's Technology , the Bedford quartet knew they had a winning formula on their hands. That record's release featured no less than eight monster singles, with each track offering up thick, down-tuned rock riffage, stadium-ready choruses, tongue-in-cheek lyricism, and a music video aesthetic soaked in 'millennial meme surrealism.'

New Noise Magazine
Review: Spiritbox - 'Eternal Blue'

As any depressive will tell you, the coldest wars are often the ones you fight against yourself. Depression, to quote late cultural theorist Mark Fisher, is not merely sadness nor a state of mind, it's a "(neuro)philosophical (dis)position." Through their inner pain, the depressive experiences the world as an evacuation of meaning and purpose, an overwhelming sense of truth and desire that reveals life to be entirely absent of joy and sorrow, an endless wasteland of profound emptiness....

Byte Size: Disastrophes

I recently watched Roland Emmerich's Mayan calendar wish fulfilment feature 2012 and then capped it off with a back-to-back viewing of 90s treasures Dante's Peak and Volcano. Now, I love dumb films. The dumber the better, really. So, I've decided to coin a new sub-genre label for an already popular sub-genre that definitely doesn't need said label.

The Nu-Normal #10: Art, Scores and Subjectivity

Well, folks, it finally happened. That crazy sonuvabitch actually did it. Kanye finally dropped his long-awaited tenth studio album, Donda, over the weekend after edging the entire world through a series of grandiose stadium live events that served as de-facto listening parties and instant headline generators. I've been following the discourse from afar ...

New Noise Magazine
Review: Foreign Pain - 'Death of Divinity'

If there's an area of heavy music worthy of detailed analysis and writerly dissection, it's the curious, liminal zone that exists between metalcore and metallic hardcore. While these terms are often considered synonymous and frequently used interchangeably, there's been enough divergence in these subgenre categories since their emergence in the mid-to-late '90s and subsequent explosion throughout the '00s that warrants serious discussion.

Dirt: And the winner is...

NFT Update: As of Sunday night we are calling the race to design our Season 2 NFT. Over 60 of you voted, and the results were 44.3% for the ice cream truck, 39.3% for the surf board and 16.4% for beach vibes. We'll unveil the final design in this very newsletter sooner than you can say Mister Softee.

Astral Auguries: The Kidnap Soundtrack

At the risk of sounding like the oldest dude on the Internet (excluding political groups on Facebook), it's weird to think about how shifts in technology and access to media over the last twenty years have drastically changed "consumption" habits for your average music fan.

Hit Factory
Podcast: Stargate feat. Owen Morawitz

Culture writer Owen Morawitz joins us to discuss Roland Emmerich's galaxy-hopping 1994 sci-fi action blockbuster 'Stargate'. With the help of the well-studied Owen, we unpack the film's open-ended (sometimes shallow) mythology, examine 'Stargate' as a Gulf War parable, and briefly discuss the ongoing challenges of separating the art from the artist.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Hooded Menace - 'The Tritonus Bell'

On LP#6, Hooded Menace make death-doom as exuberant and entertaining as possible. This isn't some bleak, sorrowful elegy. 'The Tritonus Bell' is a collection of electrifying ragers played at rumbling half-speed, suffused with an atmosphere of macabre fantasy and skeletal horror.

Deep Cuts #08: Poison The Well - 'The Opposite of December...'

If, like me, you spend all of your time writing about music and the cultural legacy of musical genres, then it’s all too easy to view time as a purely quantitative thing: i.e., there’s never enough of it, you always want more, and you often wish it would just slow the fuck down and chill out. But, guess what? Psych! Time isn’t real, and neither are flat circles. (Eat shit, Nietzsche.)

New Noise Magazine
Review: DARE - 'Against All Odds'

Alongside Drain and Section H8, DARE are boldly forging the new sound of West Coast hardcore. On their Revelation Records debut, 'Against All Odds,' the group come across as effortlessly natural, supremely confident and well-versed in the lingua franca of So-Cal sound that feels as easy as breathing.

Bandcamp Daily
A Guide to the New Breed of Australian Hardcore

Hardcore, at its essence, thrives on community. It’s there in the roar of the foldback speakers and the primal energy of the mosh pit.... It’s the electric shock of the live show, the kinetic thrill of shared catharsis that runs from body to body, forging lifelong bonds and solidarity in real time.

Byte Size: Not-So Super Hero Trash

When it comes to film, we all love our trash, don't we folks? You know what I mean. Those films that aren't great, not terrible, but also have few redeeming qualities. Little to no repeat viewing appeal. The kind of film that you put on in the background when you're hungover, so your brain does the hard part of switching off for you.

The Nu-Normal #09: We Need To Talk About Woodstock 99

Firstly, my apologies for being a day late with this piece. I had to let the takes contained within sit in the oven of my mind palace just a little longer, so as to marinate in the juices of my bubbling frustration and misdirected apathy.

8 Emerging Canadian Artists You Need to Hear in August 2021

Meet Exclaim!'s latest New Faves, including Vancouver's deathcore TikTokers and a Rebecca Black-approved hyperpop producer It's been a relatively quiet summer for new music, but blockbuster releases set for September and beyond herald a raucous fall.

Wayback Machine: Aussie Adolescence

Nostalgia is big business. It's easy to feel that every form of media we engage with is somehow pushing an anachronistic agenda, whether it's through the retro style of 80s music, rehashing the coveted 90s grunge 'slacker' aesthetic, or constant reboots and remakes of iconic properties from the last four decades.

Ecstatic Ephemera: For Doom the Bell Tolls

Master of Reality, the third studio album by English heavy metal daddies and doom progenitors Black Sabbath, turns 50 this week. It's the type of astounding milestone-one already crossed by earlier landmark records in their esteemed back catalogue, such as 1970's Paranoid and the group's self-titled debut-that makes me, even in my early thirties, feel old as shit.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Duvel - S/T

“I woke up one morning, more or less covered in blood. It wasn’t mine, and I didn’t really remember who it belonged to,” Jack Holldorff says of the story behind “All Out On You,” the second single from Duvel’s self-titled sophomore album. No need for concern, though, as Holldorff appears to be more than capable of seeing the funny side of potential catastrophe. “I made a couple of phone calls, and it was all sorted out. The lyrics sort of came to me after that incident. That sounded a lot...

No Echo
Interview: A Chat with Last Ride Records' Tom Maddocks

For the last five years, Last Ride Records have become a name synonymous with the cutting edge of Australian hardcore. Following in the footsteps of Sydney's Resist Records and Melbourne's Trial & Error Records, label head Tom Maddocks has been putting on new bands at the forefront of the Australian scene since 2016.

Deep Cuts #07: Alexisonfire - 'Old Crows/ Young Cardinals'

Sifting through the sleeper record from post-hardcore's kings of Canadian croon. It’s strange to think that the last Alexisonfire album came out twelve years ago. From our dizzyingly surreal vantage point, the naive, proto-always online world of 2009 feels like a lifetime ago. That said, the band continue to be one of the most loved and well-respected outfits of the mid-00’s post-hardcore boom.

No Echo
Sparing: North Carolina Alt-Rock Outfit Runs Away With Nostalgia via "Lush" Video

Beginning as a solo project for vocalist Zach Godwin in 2019, Sparing are now carving a path all their own. While it's clear that the Raleigh, North Carolina 5-piece are indebted to the influence of late '90s alt-rock, their latest single "Lush," harks back to the rise and dominance of Run For Cover Records mainstays like Balance and Composure, Daytrader, and Superheaven.

Byte Size: The Worst Films of 2021 (So Far)

Last week I watched the new Chris Pratt, direct-to-Amazon vehicle, The Tomorrow War and it was pretty bad. I described the film as "a poor man's homage to Edge of Tomorrow," with a serious case of "Yesterday's Blockbuster." It's ostensibly a sci-fi action film about a future war with aliens that requires civilian soldiers from our present to be sent forward in time to the front lines.

The Nu-Normal #08: The Bright (In)Side

As a stubborn and often recalcitrant millennial, I'm typically always playing catch-up with online culture. Picture that Abe Simpson, "Old Man Yells At Cloud" meme and that's essentially where my brain is at for most hours of the day. Without essential explainers like YouTube's Sarah Z or the stellar Garbage Day newsletter by Ryan Broderick, I’d be well and truly stuck in a time vortex at the End of History.

No Echo
Soul Craft: St. Louis Hardcore Band Throws Around Middle-Finger Salutes on New EP

Self-described as "stag sippin, riplet munchin, spliff-smokin' hardcore from the shitty gritty Gateway City," St. Louis outfit Soul Craft are more than content to blaze their own trail. Formed from the antisocial bedrock of punk shows and skateboarding, the Missouri quartet dropped their demo back in late 2018, splicing together a love for the Boston sound of SSD and fun, upbeat tempos.

In Review: Best of 2021 (So Far)

Well, folks, I guess it's that time once again. I've seen plenty of similar lists doing the rounds already, recapping and highlighting some of the best records of the year. So, it only feels appropriate to throw my subjective hat into that digital ring. Now, normally I'm a little OCD when it comes to lists.

No Echo
SPEED: Aussie Hardcore Kings Rock the Mean Streets of Sydney on "WE SEE U" Video

It's hard to find a band in Australia right now that's more hyped than Sydney hardcore kings, SPEED. After dropping their demo through Newcastle's Last Ride Records in 2019, the band went on to partner up with New York-based label Flatspot Records-home to heavy hitters like Typecaste, Kharma, and Section H8-for the release of their stellar two-track.

Review: F9

There's an episode of the television sitcom Happy Days where Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli (Henry Winkler) sports his greaser coiffure and trademark leather jacket and quite literally jumps over a shark on water skis. Even for a decade as delightfully surreal as the '70s, it's the kind of absurd screenwriting choice that only network television hacks could convince themselves embodied any remote sense of "cool."

Deep Cuts #06: Cave In - 'Jupiter'

I have a confession to make. In the year 2000, I wasn’t listening to Cave In. Look, I know. I’m a poser and it pains me to admit that the progressive veterans of the Massachusetts hardcore scene were not on my radar at the time. However, I was eleven years old, likely far more concerned with killing time on my Playstation and watching Star Wars. So, ah, cut me some slack, okay?

Byte Size: Revving Up The Fast Saga

Coinciding with the global release of its ninth main instalment, F9, the media property known as the Fast & Furious franchise officially turns 20 this month. Over two decades, the franchise has spawned eight additional films in the main series, now known retroactively as The Fast Saga, one film spin-off, an animated series for kids, and a much-maligned video game adaptation, generating over $5 billion in cross-platform revenue.

Atreyu's 'Baptize' Has All the Lasting Impact of a Post-Energy Drink Buzz

In a much-publicized 2018 interview with Rock Sound , former Atreyu vocalist Alex Varkatzas claimed the band "invented metalcore," before going on to admit, "that may sound cocky, but I don't care." While a number of metallic hardcore luminaries like Earth Crisis, Integrity and Converge might have something say about such a brazen declaration, it's of little consequence for the Atreyu of 2021.

The Nu-Normal #07: WTF is Hyperpop?

I've always thought of genre as a largely nebulous descriptor. When I had to categorise music on my phone or in my personal library, I always stuck to nine key groupings: Alternative/Pop/Rock, Hardcore, Hip Hop/Rap, Indie/Folk, Metal, Metalcore, Post-hardcore, Post-metal and -rock, Synthwave.

Blood Knife
Ostensible Projected Forms

How an Obscure Short Story by David Foster Wallace Almost Predicted Our Imminent Deepfakes Hellscape. Throughout much of its history as a form of genre storytelling, science fiction has consistently explored the tensions and contours that exist between the possibility of radical futures and the power of utopian imagination.

Astral Auguries: The Swarm aka Knee Deep in the Dead

Social media is a curious beast. A lot of the time, it’s just people howling into the digital void to quell the raging inanity of their own fragile existence. Other times, it’s adorable cat memes and quality Tik Toks. However, every now and again, I’ll stumble upon someone, somewhere sharing a musical relic from the past and it’ll throw me down a violent rabbit-hole of archived blog posts, overly detailed retrospectives, and long-forgotten discographies.

New Noise Magazine
Yesterday's Jukebox #04: Thursday

Welcome to Yesterday's Jukebox! In this column, we take a retrospective gaze through a wide selection of disparate genres and artist discographies, with a keen eye for the deep cuts, hidden gems, and certified bangers. This month, we're running through a list of ragers from New Jersey post-hardcore heroes Thursday.

'Bloodthirsty' Is a Creature Feature Without the Bite

The initial premise of Bloodthirsty has all the ups and downs of a familiar character drama. Grey ( Lauren Beatty) is an indie singer-songwriter on a well-earned career path of upward trajectory. Her first album was a runaway hit, and now she's hard at work on the follow-up.

Deep Cuts #05: The Chariot - 'Long Live'

A liturgical litany of chaos and catharsis. If you’ve ever been to a hardcore show, then you know what controlled chaos feels like. That electric sensation of tense apprehension, the thrill of unknowing, of frantically holding lightning in a bottle, understanding that at any moment it might suddenly escape and shock you.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Fiddlehead - 'Between The Richness'

While it's clear that life and death are motivating factors for Fiddlehead, on 'Between The Richness' they're also essential features of the band's creative growth. The sophomore LP from the Massachusetts quintet straddles the existential gulf from 'is' to 'ought' with confident self-assurance.

New Noise Magazine
Interview: Kayhan Vaziri of Yautja Talks Surviving Stagnation on New Album, 'The Lurch'

On their Relapse Records debut, Nashville underground trio Yautja take their trademark hybrid of grind, sludge, and hardcore to its all-consuming, atavistic conclusion. Everything about The Lurch feels primal. The stalking stab of dissonant guitar riffage. The unsettling atmosphere of tectonic tempo shifts. The murky morass of glacial fuzz and doom.

Byte Size: The Evening Redness in the Neo-Western

I love Westerns. There's just something about the genre that feels infinitely mutable. After watching director Taylor Sheridan's newest effort, Those Who Wish Me Dead (insert shameless plug here), I just had to go ahead and list out the best batch of neo-Westerns that the turn of the millennium has to offer.

Review: Those Who Wish Me Dead

For the last few years, writer and director Taylor Sheridan has been on an elemental hot streak. Those Who Wish Me Dead is both a compelling character drama and a gripping blockbuster. The film’s inevitable moments of tense action and kinetic thrill are most impactful when sequenced next to warm scenes of sparse landscapes. While the third act burns out a little towards the end, with a messy conclusion and slight stretch of wildfire realism, Sheridan is certainly a master of his craft and in...

New Noise Magazine
Review: Iceage - 'Seek Shelter'

Advancing the degenerate grandeur captured so perfectly on 2018's sprawling 'Beyondless,' 'Seek Shelter,' the band's fifth LP and first for new label, Mexican Summer, finds Iceage working towards redemption and salvation by spitting in the face of chaos, turning disintegration and despair into high art in the process.

The Nu-Normal #06: Back to the Future Part IV

One of my favourite weekly newsletters is the Music Journalism Insider , written by Todd L. Burns. In his recent special edition, Burns put the call out to other journos in the biz to imagine what the state of music journalism might look like in two hundred years time.

Ecstatic Ephemera: T3CH N01R

If you could go back in time and tell seventeen-year-old me—a person who thought the height of musical taste and knowledge was getting drunk in the daytime, going to All Ages hardcore shows at night, and hitting the pit like a demon—that he’d be listening to summer-filled pop music with saxophone solos in less than a decade, he’d probably tell you that you’ve got rocks in your head.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Gojira - 'Fortitude'

Joe Duplantier, co-founding guitarist, lead vocalist, and principal songwriter for French avant-metallers Gojira has some harsh words for the human race: “A few years ago, I began to become pessimistic about the future of humanity,” the frontman explains in an interview with Kerrang. ​“Even though there is an awakening, and many people are trying to better themselves, I feel like we’re going backwards…. So, when the pandemic happened, I was like, ​‘Fine. Let it burn. Maybe it’s just the end...

Deep Cuts #04: Alkaline Trio - 'From Here To Infirmary'

Pulse-raising pop-punk from the cataplexic corners of the Windy City. It was the dawn of a new millennium. The year was 2001 and things were weird and strange. Y2K had proven to be nothing but overblown panic. I had just started high school and the cruel kiss of puberty had settled upon my unsuspecting pubescent body. The Fast and the Furious delighted audiences with its tale of sweaty revheads stealing DVD players. South Park hit their creative stride with season five. Limp Bizkit were still...

'The Marksman' Shoots for Thrills and Misses by Miles Directed by Robert Lorenz

Starring Liam Neeson, Katheryn Winnick, Juan Pablo Raba, Teresa Ruiz There's a telling moment towards the second act climax of writer and director Robert Lorenz's The Marksman. Grizzled Arizona rancher Jim Hanson ( Liam Neeson) and illegal immigrant tween and Mexican national Miguel (Jacob Perez) are holed up in a nondescript motel during a mad-dash road trip to Chicago.

Byte Size: Aaahh!!! The Realest Monster Movies

Earlier this month, I watched two seemingly disparate films: Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) and Shrek (2001). Now, on paper, these films couldn’t be any more different. One is a playful post-modern parody of fairytales and Disney hyper-commodification. The other is an aggressively stupid, anti-human, globetrotting smash-em-up sequel full of hollow characters and titanic destruction.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Hail The Sun - New Age Filth

Residing in the more eclectic corners of the post-hardcore genre, Hail The Sun have consistently displayed a knack for pairing technical skill with innovative songwriting. By design, New Age Filth is for the devoted fans, but it's also engaging enough to suggest that outsiders are more than welcome to get dirty too.

New Noise Magazine
Interview: Donovan Melero of Hail The Sun on Latest LP, 'New Age Filth'

For Donovan Melero, spending time away from his duties as frontman, lead vocalist, and drummer for Californian post-hardcore outfit Hail The Sun was a chance to expand his already impressive skill set, while also keeping an optimistic eye looking towards the future.

The Nu-Normal #05: WTF is an NFT?

If you haven't been living under a rock for the last few weeks, I'm guessing you've heard some chatter about this 'NFT' business. And if you have been living under a rock, well, how is it? Is it nice there? Can I join you? Please. Help me.

Ecstatic Ephemera: Post-silence and the Art of Patience

I absolutely love making playlists. I make them for myself, for other people, for this newsletter, and for my own posterity as a "music journalist." If I was self-absorbed enough to sanctify my own individuality, I would say something to the effect of "Making playlists is just, you know, my thing."

New Noise Magazine
Yesterday's Jukebox #03: Alkaline Trio

Welcome to Yesterday's Jukebox! In our newest monthly column, I'll be taking a retrospective gaze through a wide selection of disparate genres and artist discographies, with a keen eye for the deep cuts and certified bangers. This month, we're chronicling all the hits from Chicago punk rockers Alkaline Trio.

Wayback Machine: Griselda Records

As a young white kid from regional Australia, the dark and grimy world of ghetto rap and hip-hop hustle couldn't be any further removed from the life I grew up with. Sure, I listened to Eminem, just like every other teenager who grew up in the 00s.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Citizen - Life In Your Glass World

It's oddly fitting that Citizen would give their fourth LP a title that alludes to lived experience being contained by a fragile and artificial microcosm. Life has always bled into the Toledo three-piece's art, and one would expect a year like 2020 to be no exception.

New Noise Magazine
Review: ERRA - S/T

Self-titled records serve as cautionary artifacts in heavy music. 'ERRA' is a mesmerizing distillation of ERRA's thirteen-year career, one that boldly refracts and refines the group's sound for the uncertain future ahead. It's still progressive. It's still metalcore. And-for all intents and purposes-it's still ERRA.

Deep Cuts #03: Title Fight - 'Shed'

We often talk about certain albums as being of a particular ‘time and place’; the sonic equivalent of a “You had to be there” moment. Unless you were the victim of a very special set of circumstances, privy to the emotional access and vantage point of a particular era and location, then things just won’t quite ‘click’ for you.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Enforced - Kill Grid

Whether it's through the political savagery of Havok, Warbringer's progressive darkness, the hardcore punk flirtations of Red Death, Iron Reagan's raucous party ethos, the speedy Kreator-worship of Forseen, or the 'Texan Takeover' spearheaded by the unholy trio of Power Trip, Iron Age, and Skeleton-the last decade has been a total boon for twentieth-first century thrashers.

Byte Size: 2010s Sci-Fi God Tier List

Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I make no secret about being a massive nerd. My house is full of film posters, books, and graphic novels, and I have a not-so inconsequential collection of media-related tattoos permanently jabbed into my skin. For me, science fiction has always been about two things: potential and escapism.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Eyehategod - A History of Nomadic Behavior

On A History of Nomadic Behavior, NOLA luminaires Eyehategod have lost none of the magic that defined the 90s ascendancy of seminal sludge metal artifacts such as Take as Needed for Pain (1993) and Dopesick (1996).

The Nu-Normal #04: Phoebe Bridgers, SNL, and 'The Smashening'

Last month, on a recent episode of Saturday Night Live, hosted by Dan Levy of Schitt's Creek fame, indie rock artist Phoebe Bridgers stepped up to perform the closing track from her spectacular 2020 album , the near-six-minute opus " I Know The End."

New Noise Magazine
Review: The Spill Canvas - Conduit

With only a few sequencing missteps on the back end, 'Conduit' is a beautiful bridge between the old and new for The Spill Canvas. Long-time fans will find much to love about this release, with just enough emo heyday nostalgia to prop up the band's newer sonic explorations.

New Noise Magazine
Yesterday's Jukebox #02: Architects

Welcome to Yesterday's Jukebox! We'll be taking a retrospective gaze through a wide selection of disparate genres and artist discographies, with a keen eye for the deep cuts, hidden gems, and certified bangers. This month, we're taking a look at the career of Brighton metalcore exports Architects.

Wayback Machine: Best Hip Hop of the 2010s

When I was a youth, I only listened to 'heavy' music, and foolishly, I wore that narrowmindedness as a badge of pride. Eventually, I grew out of that shit and I was starved for new sounds and experiences. In the 2010s, I made a concerted effort to listen to more hip hop.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Gravesend - Methods of Human Disposal

'Methods of Human Disposal' is not a feel-good album-and that's entirely by design. On their debut LP, Gravesend have taken to squatting in the hallowed halls of death metal, power-violence, hardcore, and grind, kicking in the walls, burning out the floorboards, and pissing on the ashes.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Architects - For Those Who Wish To Exist

With fifteen tracks and an hour of music on offer, 'For Those Who Wish To Exist' is an album best consumed and digested in movements, with discrete groupings that ebb and flow and resonate with the album's grander purpose. It's a record that's sure to alienate some Architects fans but will hopefully inspire others.

Deep Cuts #02: Sparta - 'Wiretap Scars'

Before we dive in to this record, first an anecdote. (And please, bear with me here—I promise I’m going somewhere with this.) During the spectacular period of alternative music history known as the early 00s, I had tickets to see pop-punk luminaries Blink-182 perform on their 2004 worldwide Untitled Album stadium tour. As a kid from rural Australia who’d only recently moved to the ‘big smoke’ for the final years of high school, my radar for “cool” music was already somewhat restricted.

Ecstatic Ephemera: Be Mine, Valentine

Valentine's Day is a cultural enigma. It's a holiday invented by capitalism, purely to take advantage of people's romantic sentiments, relationship obligations, and surplus cash. If you have a significant other, they might claim to hate Valentine's Day. But can you really afford not to get them anything?

Hysteria Magazine
COG // Back To The Nu-Normal

When we get Luke Gower on the phone on a cruisy Wednesday afternoon, he's in the middle of domestic bliss, hard at work in the kitchen. The bassist and backing vocalist for Sydney progressive rock outfit Cog is knee-deep in mashed potatoes and steak sandwiches, clearly enjoying some time at home with the family as the rest of the country slowly ramps up from quarantine-induced stasis.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Teenage Wrist - Earth Is A Black Hole

For L.A. alt-rockers Teenage Wrist, their second LP drops in a time of chaos and crisis. And it's this pervasive sense of existential malaise that makes an album title like 'Earth Is A Black Hole' feel less like artistic metaphor and more of an accurate assessment of collective mood.

The Nu-Normal #03: Is Rock No Longer Fun?

Yesterday I sat down and watched Downfall's High -yes, in full, all forty-nine, glorious, cringe-worthy minutes of it. For those not in the know, Downfall's High is Colson Baker's (aka Machine Gun Kelly's) latest celebrity endeavour: a feature-length musical that strings together all fifteen tracks from his fifth album, Tickets to My Downfall.

New Noise Magazine
Yesterday's Jukebox #01: Lucero

In Yesterday's Jukebox, we take a retrospective gaze through a wide selection of disparate genres and artist discographies, with a keen eye for the deep cuts, hidden gems, and certified bangers. To kick things off, we're starting with alt-country rockers Lucero.

Deep Cuts #01: Lucero – 'Women & Work'

In 2012 I was quickly approaching the twilight of my mid-twenties and the long-rumoured mid-midlife crisis. Thankfully, I managed to stave off the worst of it and keep my shit (mostly) together. However, this was also a period in time when my musical tastes were yearning for new, unexplored horizons.

Review: WOWOD – 'Yarost' I Proshchenie'

Y'know, I don't know how I initially came across WOWOD, but I'm glad I did. Thanks to the generosity of the Almighty Algorithm, the relatively unknown and self-described 'blackened band' from Saint Petersburg somehow slid into my YouTube recommendation DMs, and that was all it took.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Harakiri For The Sky - Maere

When was the last time you sat down and listened to music for 90 minutes straight? Maybe it was on a long, lonely drive? Or at the gym? Or sitting alone in your room, contemplating the profound emptiness of human existence? (No? Just me then...)

Review: Occupation: Rainfall

In his review of the alien invasion classic Independence Day (1996), Roger Ebert describes getting lost in plot minutiae and the complexities of extra-terrestrial motivations: " Independence Day is a timid movie when it comes to imagination. The aliens, when we finally see them, are a serious disappointment; couldn't they think of anything more interesting than octopus men?

Byte Size: Cringeless Australian Cinema

For the longest time, I've had a bone to pick with Australian cinema. Sure, we have our classics, our regional canon: The Castle; The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert; Romper Stomper; Muriel's Wedding; Wolf Creek; Chopper; The Dish; and many others.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Portrayal of Guilt - We Are Always Alone

Produced, recorded, and mixed by Phillip Odom at Cacophony Recorders, with mastering by Will Yip, it's clear that 'We Are Always Alone' captures Portrayal of Guilt at their purest. The album is an uncompromising statement of intent, with dense layers of sound that endlessly shift and transform the listening experience.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Asphyx - Necroceros

I think it's fair to say that Dutch metallers Asphyx have a morbid fascination with death. Look, I know that's probably a stretch, but hear me out. Firstly, the Overijssel quartet has been steadily perfecting their crunchy, metallic approach to headbang-worthy death-doom for over three decades now.

The Nu-Normal #02: Don't Cross the (Live)Streams

A few days ago, I came across a Variety headline that reads as follows: "Dr. Fauci Says Concert Venues, Theaters Could Reopen in the Fall, 'If Everything Goes Right.'" Curious, I thought to myself, that's a hell of a big IF.

'Drunk Tank Pink' Showcases Shame's Talent for Vivid Storytelling

In the world of Shame's Drunk Tank Pink, perception is everything. Opener "Alphabet" kicks off with rattling snare and lurching rhythms from drummer Charlie Forbes and bassist Josh Finerty. Guitarists Sean Coyle-Smith and Eddie Green pepper the empty space with scattershot sustain and siren wail leads.

In Review: Top 10 Albums of 2020

Despite the unending cavalcade of disappointments this year continued to serve up, week in and week out, 2020 was actually a great year for music. It turns out that forced isolation and quarantine is a boon for artistic focus, creativity and ingenuity. I mean, I did more writing this year than I have in the last few combined.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Fire Man - Overcoming the Cycle of Sun Collapse

While he retains a small yet supportive online fanbase by crafting criticisms with a heavy dose of eclectic levity, Brentar's approach to Fire Man, Overcoming the Cycle of Sun Collapse, and the legacy of punk rock remains thoughtful and engaging.

Byte Size: The Worst Films I Watched in 2020

Here's a stocking stuffer for you. A little Letterboxd listicle, just in time for this coveted week of end-of-year lists and Year In Review profiles. But see, here's the thing: 2020 sucked for cinema (much like everything else).

Ecstatic Ephemera: Alt Xmas Covers to Piss Off Your Relatives

Well, what could possibly make 2020 any more insufferable? Christmas, of course. The silly season. The time for giving, travel, and those uncomfortable conversations with estranged relatives you deliberately avoid until familial obligations draw you inexorably into their orbit once more. At least we can all agree that Christmas music is peak trash.

Happy Media Round-up: Top 10 Records of 2020

Editor's Note: Here @The Pitch of Discontent, we spend most of our free-time diving headfirst into the bountiful world of real-time media consumption. As you've likely already surmised, the world is still batshit crazy, so we're all about finding distractions in any shape or form.

Weekly Roundup: December 14, 2020

A curated selection of cool shit for you to listen to. Fresh off the triumph of their snarling third album, Ultra Mono, English punks IDLES have released their latest single, "Kill Them With Kindness," where frontman Joe Talbot waxes lyrical about the need for collective empathy in the face of resurgent fascism: "If you wanna beat the machine, keep your teeth clean."

The Nu-Normal #01: We Need to Talk About Spotify

Like most millennials with a passive-aggressive relationship to the Internet, I have mixed feelings about Spotify. Admittedly, I was a late bloomer to the platform. I'm the guy who only plunged into the depths of the streaming dark side a few years ago when I realised that Chapo Trap House podcasts and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and Punk-O-Rama playlists were a really good way to kill time as a maligned corporate wage-slave.

Wayback Machine: Best of the 2010s (2018-19)

Well, here it is at last. The final chapter in my Best of the 2010s list. 10 years, 100 records, and a 1000 potential sub-genres (just kidding). It's been a big undertaking, but it's also thoroughly rewarding to track my musical evolution over this formative time period.

Exclaim!'s 50 Best Albums of 2020

This was a year of solitude and introspection, whether we wanted it or not. It was a year that forced everyone to confront their deepest, darkest feelings and push forward despite a categorical lack of support and diminishing capacities to cope.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Soilwork - A Whisp of the Atlantic

As they round out a quarter-century of existence, Swedish outfit Soilwork continue to find ways to innovate. A Whisp of the Atlantic proves that they can do so with style and grace, adding to their highly acclaimed discography rather than subtracting from it.

Wayback Machine: Best of the 2010s (2016-17)

Well, here's a bunch of records from one of the best and one of the worst years of my life. Glorious stuff. I've had highs and lows with every album in this list, but they all got me through to today, so there's always a silver lining, folks. Dig in.

Review: Let Him Go

It's a tale as old as time. Old man and woman lose an adult son. Woman grieves and projects loss onto the surviving grandchild. Lonely widow eventually remarries and leaves. Man and woman now lose a grandchild. Man and woman embark on a cross-country search to recover their last shred of family.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Hatebreed - Weight of the False Self

In terms of musical quality, Weight of the False Self is heavier than a bag of anvils and is sure to rip in a live setting (whenever that may be). Twenty-five years into their career, no one is questioning Hatebreed's ability to keep things heavy.

Wayback Machine: Best of the 2010s (2014-15)

Well, this is where things get really interesting. Hypnagogic synthwave up against Québecois death metal? Sure. Norwegian post-hardcore next to Australian atmospheric black metal? Yeah, why not? Two albums featuring an Indiana-based MC rubbing shoulders with a British rock powerhouse? Abso-fucking-lutely. Enjoy.

Wayback Machine: Best of the 2010s (2012-13)

More lists, you say? Who doesn't love lists? (Yeah look, I know I have a problem.) This is the second instalment of my Best of the 2010s album list, as we move on to 2012 and 2013. Hell yeah, dude.

Review: Shackles - Hatred’s Reservoir

As a writer, lover, and all-encompassing consumer of music, it’s nice when artists find a way to succinctly summarise their musical output into a neat statement of purpose. Case in point, Byron Bay outfit Shackles have this handy little bio sitting on their Bandcamp profile: “Nearly 10 years exploring the dead space situated somewhere in the triad of Power-Violence, Grind, and Death Metal.”

Wayback Machine: Best of the 2010s (2010-11)

For me, the 2010s are synonymous with fucking up and figuring stuff out. You know the deal: failed relationships, dead-end jobs, the crushing weight of corporate wage-slavery, burgeoning intellectual curiosity, embracing empathy and kindness- real adult shit. Musically, however, I managed to blow my horizons wide open, consuming all things weird and wonderful.

New Noise Magazine
Review: You Will Always - Dependent, Reliant

Despite its obvious flaws, emo is nothing if not earnest. Sometimes painfully so. Songs alternate between the pretty and the powerful with the emotional restraint of a hormone-laden teenager. Twinkly leads, driving chords, softly spoken words, pained screams, weird tunings, shifting tempos-it's all up for grabs in the restless hands of forlorn twenty-to-thirty-something adults.

Hysteria Magazine
Interview: Greg Puciato // Fear Is The Mind-Killer

When we get former The Dillinger Escape Plan frontman and multi-instrumentalist Greg Puciato on the phone to talk about the release of his debut solo album, the conversation quickly turns to the state of global affairs in 2020.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Pallbearer - Forgotten Days

Pallbearer have always been more than just a doom band. Across their critically acclaimed back catalogue, the quartet have already tackled the crushing and commercial, the soaring and sentimental, the melodic and melancholy. Forgotten Days masterfully achieves all these things and more.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Greg Puciato - Child Soldier: Creator of God

One of the perks of reviewing things for a living is having the privilege to hear new music well in advance of a scheduled release date. There's a certain thrill that comes with seeing an album that you've already pre-ordered, that you've been anxiously anticipating and waiting to devour, suddenly drop right into your inbox.

Review: Irresistible

In the opening scene of Irresistible, writer, director, and producer Jon Stewart-best known as the much-loved host of satirical political comedy program The Daily Show for over fifteen years-takes us to the 'spin room' following one of the volatile 2016 U.S. presidential debates.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Eighteen Visions - Inferno

One of the most interesting aspects of Inferno, the latest release from Cali metalcore luminaries Eighteen Visions, is the absolute dearth of information surrounding it. Last month, a SoundCloud link to lead single and EP opener "Sink" surfaced online.

"It Is What It Is": Donald Trump, Moral Apathy and the Cult of Crisis

By far the most salient takeaway from Tuesday’s televised U.S. presidential debate — the first of three to be held in the coming weeks between Republican party nominee and incumbent Donald Trump, and Democratic nominee and former vice president Joe Biden — is that it was, in the words of one particularly frank CNN pundit, a complete and utter “shit show”: a farcical, deeply embarrassing, shit-slinging spectacle entirely devoid of substance or merit.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Death Bells - New Signs of Life

For LA-based Australian post-punk outfit Death Bells, their sophomore album New Signs of Life represents both an act of rebirth and a reaffirmation of purpose. Three years on from their well-received debut LP, the internal dynamic of the band has changed in stark and contrasting ways.

Amazon Prime's 'Utopia' Fails to Recapture the Magic of the British Original

After watching the first seven episodes made available for review, it's clear that Flynn's Utopia is vastly inferior to Kelly's subversive original in almost every conceivable way. What Amazon's adaptation might share in general story beats, character names and core mythology, it squanders in terms of lasting visual impact, performer chemistry, rich storytelling and overall thematic resonance.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Svalbard - When I Die, Will I Get Better?

Svalbard have always been a band that wears their hearts on their collective sleeves. Running at a lean 39-minutes, When I Die, Will I Get Better? (which takes its title from an obscure children's book about death and grief) presents listeners with a long list of album highlights.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Skeletal Remains - The Entombment of Chaos

It's no secret that Skeletal Remains worship at the throne of death metal's elder gods. Overall, The Entombment of Chaos is a genuinely lethal death metal record, one that is entirely aggressive by design, profoundly brutal in execution, and it might be their best yet.

Teasing Dune: Building Anticipation for Denis Villeneuve's Sci-Fi Epic

With the announcement of the highly-anticipated trailer for director Denis Villeneuve's forthcoming sci-fi epic Dune, the Internet has since been flooded with exclusive images, on-set photos, and other tantalising tidbits. And while we have to wait until September 9th for Warner Bros. to finally release the full trailer for Villeneuve's Dune ...

Nas's 'King's Disease' Is Uneven - but Still His Most Satisfying Project in Years

There's no denying that Nasir "Nas" Jones is a cultural force unto himself. Across a career spanning three decades, the Queensbridge, NY-bred rapper has a pedigree of records and hits that most MC's would outright kill for - not to mention Grammy wins, frequent slots on G.O.A.T. lists, and an accumulation of wealth and success.

What It Is To Be

Does identity matter? As a metaphysical dilemma this question relates to the existence of objects over time. How does a single object or entity persist through change? Exactly what constitutes the 'nature' of a person? When - or, perhaps more specifically, under what conditions - does a person come in to and out of existence?

New Noise Magazine
Review: Necrot - Mortal

While not reinventing the OSDM wheel by any stretch of the imagination, Mortal sticks to what Necrot do best by honoring the established, meat-and-potatoes death metal template while also including just enough stylistic flair to satiate their modern, bloodthirsty audience.

Review: Tenet

Tenet, Christopher Nolan’s newest big-budget blockbuster, is the director’s most overt foray yet into the exploration of time as a narrative agent unto itself. But what is time exactly? Is it the ticking of a clock? The sequence of events stretching from the past to the present and indefinitely into the future? Is it a physical component of our corporeal reality? Or, as some leading theorists now suggest, is it merely an illusion altogether?

New Noise Magazine
Review: Ball of Light - S/T

After the release of their debut full-length Flux last year, Cincinnati bruisers Ball of Light have returned to the fold to grace us with a new, self-titled two-track offering , tailor made for these uncertain times and certain to quell those pesky pandemic blues.

Primitive Man's 'Immersion' Is the Nihilistic Sound of Civilization's Downfall

Existentially speaking, music allows us to reflect and share our perceptions of reality. With the current state of the world being one of unyielding misery and discontent, one would be forgiven for throwing their hands up, revelling in the "doomer" memes and embracing a thoroughly existential soundtrack for these end times.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Only Sibling - Get Well Soon

If Only Sibling were at all concerned about potential charges of 'imposter syndrome' as self-confessed "loser rock" aficionados, then they sure don't sound like it. While it's still early days for the young quartet, Get Well Soon indicates that there's plenty of promise here.

Terminal Nation Remind Us That Humanity Is Screwed with 'Holocene Extinction'

On the provocatively titled Holocene Extinction, Arkansas bruisers Terminal Nation make two things abundantly clear: they're not here to mince words, and things are pretty much fucked. Every day individuals are forced to face down the ills of political corruption, the devastating effects of anthropogenic climate change, corporate greed, civil unrest, the ongoing threat of a deadly global pandemic, and cultural stagnation.

Hockey Dad Slowly Start Growing Up on 'Brain Candy'

For much of the last decade, Australian duo Hockey Dad have spent their time turning a sense of wistful, care-free nostalgia into a unique brand of catchy surf rock escapism. However, much like the iconic '90s cartoon that supplied their tongue-in-cheek namesake, there's an upper limit to how far that nostalgic turn can take you.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Misery Signals - Ultraviolet

Ultraviolet is a record that turns firmly towards the light, successfully avoiding the pitfalls of relaxed nostalgia by charging confidently into a new, brighter future. It's a hopeful record, one imbued with a renewed sense of purpose, impelled by an inner momentum of growth and relentless celestial optimism.

New Noise Magazine
Interview: A track-by-track rundown of 'Ultraviolet' with Misery Signals

For the better part of two decades, Misery Signals have been one of the most influential and innovative acts in progressive metalcore. On their forthcoming album, Ultraviolet, the Canadian-American outfit are entering a new era with the return of their original founding line-up.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Creeper - Sex, Death & the Infinite Void

For all its macabre imagery and gloomy post-punk aesthetics, the biggest fault on Sex, Death & the Infinite Void is that Creeper can't seem to hide-or, for that matter, reinterpret-their influences all too well, with admirable performances that ultimately fall victim to their sources of derivation.

'The Umbrella Academy' Season 2 Proves That Even the Apocalypse Is Doomed to Repeat Itself

At the start of season 2 of Netflix's The Umbrella Academy, it's clear that not a whole lot has changed. After skipping back in time during the season 1 finale to stave off their last run-in with Doomsday, it's business as usual for the Hargreeves clan who now find themselves scattered through time and space across various iterations of 1960s Dallas.

New Noise Magazine
Review: The Acacia Strain - Slow Decay

It's definitely been a busy twelve months for Massachusetts metalcore outfit The Acacia Strain. While the advent of a full-blown global pandemic has certainly put the prospect of touring plans on the backburner for the foreseeable future, it's done very little to slow their consistently crushing musical output.

Review: Babyteeth

As anyone who made it through the awkwardness of adolescence knows all too well, the trials and tribulation of early life are situational and relative. For years, you might fret and constantly sweat the small stuff-school, holidays, friends, hobbies-only to arrive at the rude awakening of adulthood by stumbling through the haze of trying to be an uncertain twenty-something before comfortably landing on the outright cynicism and diminishing returns of your thirties.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Ecostrike - A Truth We Still Believe

It's hard to think of an idea or concept that's more controversial right now than truth. At almost any level of civil discourse (or otherwise), we see the conflation of facts and meaning with the prevalence of opinion and belief.

Review: The Burnt Orange Heresy

It's only fitting that in this post-(perhaps mid?)-COVID reality that we all find ourselves helplessly and inextricably trapped within, a truly strange year like 2020 would yield truly strange films. Such is the epiphanic realisation I had when watching The Burnt Orange Heresy, and it all starts with the deliberate ambiguity of the film's promotional poster.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Entry - Detriment

Everything about Entry's debut full-length Detriment will be at once familiar and recognisable to anyone who's been a part of a punk/hardcore/metal basement show. Songs that sting like spits of venom and vitriol. A raised middle finger declaring the excoriation of power in all its forms.

Review: The King of Staten Island

When we're first introduced to The King of Staten Island's titular sovereign, Scott Carlin (played affably by SNL's Pete Davidson), he's alone in his car and midway through a game of blind chicken with highway traffic. As an opening scene, it's a little disorienting, and there are certainly easier ways to commit suicide (and ones that involve far less collateral damage).

New Noise Magazine
Review: Skeleton - S/T

Blitzing through 11 tracks in a dizzying 28 minutes, Skeleton deal exclusively in a muscular, head-bang worthy blend of speedy thrash, frosty black metal, and pummelling d-beat. It’s aggressive, loud, and a whole lot of fun. The type of music one expects to find blaring at ear-piercing volume inside a raging house party at 3AM, complete with substance-fuelled debauchery, front-lawn windmills, open flames, and an excess of acid-wash denim.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Sharptooth - Transitional Forms

Within the alternative music scene, it's rare to find a band that faithfully embodies a relatable sense of humour. Some groups-both old and new-like Horse the Band, Iwrestledabearonce, Don Broco, and Eskimo Callboy immediately spring to mind.

We Need to Talk About The Last of Us

Last week, my partner and I completed our playthrough of The Last of Us Part II, the highly anticipated sequel to the 2013 smash hit survival horror game.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Thirty Nights Of Violence - You'll See Me Up There

It's no surprise that as we pass through the twentieth anniversary of White Pony, the seminal record from alt-metal luminaries Deftones, the band's signature sound continues to worm its way into the heavy music lexicon as a crucial, formative influence.

New Noise Magazine
Interview: Erik Paulson of Remo Drive on 'A Portrait of An Ugly Man'

With a large portion of the world having been locked up in quarantine for weeks and months at a time, musicians and creative artists would be hard-pressed not to draw some inspiration from recent events. However, for Bloomington, Minnesota indie-rock outfit Remo Drive, work on the group's upcoming third LP started long before the world faced a global pandemic and the prospect of extended self-isolation.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Remo Drive - A Portrait of An Ugly Man

If you believe everything you read on the Internet (and let's be clear, you probably shouldn't), then the sophomore album from Bloomington, Minnesota indie-rock outfit Remo Drive, 2019's Natural, Everyday Degradation, was a colossal creative misfire.

New Noise Magazine
Interview: Thirty Nights Of Violence on their New EP and Diverse Musical Influences

Listening to You'll See Me Up There, the newest six-track offering from Nashville bruisers Thirty Nights Of Violence, it's clear that the Tennessee quintet has a strong desire for off-beat experimentation. Catching up with the band over Zoom, we dive into the creative process behind their new EP, along with their diverse range of musical influences.

Kvelertak's Self-titled Debut Album Turns Ten. And It Still Rules.

Now, to tell the truth, I can't quite remember exactly how I procured my copy of 'Kvelertak,' but what I do distinctly recall is that I had no real idea who they were or what to expect. Listening to this particular album, in this particular moment, was purely to have 'background music'.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Phoebe Bridgers - Punisher

As one of the world's foremost millennial sirens, Phoebe Bridgers straddles a fine line between curiosity and carelessness. Her impressive 2017 debut Stranger in the Alps was anchored by intimate moments and earnest reflections, detailing the well-worn battlefields of break-ups, loneliness, and personal loss.

"The Monster Is Never the Monster": Gothic Monstrosity and Otherness

What truly makes a monster? This profound and somewhat unsettling question lays at the heart of the literary tradition surrounding the nineteenth-century Gothic novel. In many ways, literature itself may be perceived as "a monstrous or mutant discourse, a humanism that is also inhuman, alien," where the entire project of the Western...

Review: Xibalba - 'Años en Infierno'

In the discussion surrounding my review for Xibalba's 2017 EP ' Diablo, Con Amor... Adios,' I said the following: " It's definitely a solid EP, but I wasn't a massive fan of [2015's] 'Tierra y Libertad,' and I want to hear them do some different shit on their next record.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Justice For The Damned - Pain Is Power

Justice For The Damned have always approached their unique brand of HM-2 inspired destruction with a well-developed sense of moral righteousness. Abusers are called out, liars exposed, and wrongdoers will inevitably have their past misdeeds brought into the unforgiving light of retribution.

10 Emerging Canadian Artists You Need to Hear This June

As the first half of 2020 wraps up, it's time for another crop of rising musical acts from different corners of the country that bridge genres, scenes and languages. Here are 10 emerging Canadian artists you need to hear in June, including members of hard rock and metal's new wave, Queb rap's next bilingual superstar, and plenty of boundary-pushing pop.

The Character of Evil: Part IV

In the final instalment of this series, we use our previous reflections on the character of evil, to address an overarching question: What should we classify as an evil action, and what should we do about them? This piece will attempt to discuss the correlation between acts of evil and violence by speaking to current events, many of which are distressing, confronting, continually unfolding, and unprecedented in scope and severity.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Make Them Suffer - How To Survive a Funeral

It's no surprise that on LP #4, Perth metallers Make Them Suffer seem bound and determined to shed those pesky genre tags and put stylistic pigeonholes to bed. Well, a 'dirt nap' that is-their newest record is called How To Survive a Funeral for a reason, folks.

The Ghost Inside Rise from the Ashes of Tragedy on Triumphant Self-Titled Album

Much has already been said about the tragic events in 2015 that led to the Ghost Inside taking a four-year hiatus. However, it's been more than just an uphill battle to arrive at the release of the Californian metalcore outfit's eponymous fifth album, as members of the band continue to wrestle with the death of close friends, an ongoing series of surgeries, hours of physical therapy and adjusting to life with severe chronic injuries.

Review: END - 'Splinters From an Ever-Changing Face'

Normally, this would be the part where I'd kick off my review by talking about how crazy it is to have all these super groups doing really cool stuff in hardcore, punk, and metal right now. You know, like 'this band'. Or 'that band'. Blah blah, etc. etc.

New Noise Magazine
Bandcamp of the Day: R U N

Our Bandcamp of the Day features Australian metal collective R U N, who have been steadily releasing a slew of new tracks from their forthcoming debut record. Built out of decades of toil and experience within the Australian heavy music scene, R U N is a new collaborative project comprised of vocalist Lochlan Watt (former live member of Thy Art Is Murder/Psycroptic) and guitarist Mike Deslandes (YLVA/High Tension).

Editorial: MCU Rewatch - Phase 3.5

Well, here it is, folks: the End(game) of the line. The culmination of the Infinity Saga, all three Phases of the MCU, and the last stretch of our twenty-three (!) film long Rewatch-a-thon.

Editorial: MCU Rewatch - Phase 3

The country is reopening and everyone seems to be poised on a razor's edge between hesitant and hedonistic for the wide expanse of the great outdoors. And sure, social interaction is nice. But hopefully we can both have nice things and follow the rules.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Asking Alexandria - Like a House on Fire

There's a lyric on the track "Here's To Starting Over," which reads: "I'd rather fail as me than succeed as someone else." Coming out of the dulcet pipes of frontman and lead vocalist Danny Worsnop, it's a line that represents a clear mission statement for British rock outfit Asking Alexandria.

Editorial: MCU Rewatch - Phase 2

Well, isolation still sucks. Thankfully, it seems things may be finally changing on that front. This week's Rewatch brings us to Phase 2 of the MCU, where we see the characters and heroes of Phase 1 turn to new challenges, link up with new comrades, face down new villains, and begin to uncover a cosmic conspiracy of galactic proportions.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Gleemer - Down Through

In these times of isolation and constant solitude, introspection can help us expose the hidden dualities of feeling: meditation and melancholy, determination and despair, anxiety and anger. On their newest LP, the slow-burning Down Through, Colorado outfit Gleemer set out to give voice to their inner self.

White Denim's 'World as a Waiting Room' Finds Ambition from Quarantine

Listening to World as a Waiting Room, it's hardly what one expects to result from a period of global crisis and uncertainty. The newest nine-track LP from prolific Texan rock outfit White Denim is the purest manifestation of those isolation-shaming memes circling the drain of social media feeds everywhere.

Review: Umbra Vitae - 'Shadow of Life'

Here's the thing about supergroups: sometimes, the sum is not necessarily guaranteed to be greater than its parts. Some combinations of disparate band members are bonafide hits, while others end up a haphazard 'swing n' miss': The Damned Things and Prophets of Rage ; Run The Jewels and Giraffe Tongue Orchestra ; Boygenius and Fake Names .

The Character of Evil: Part III

In the third instalment of this ongoing series, we continue our reflections on the character of evil, asking: What exactly do we mean by 'evil'? What is the difference between something being genuinely evil, or just plain wrong? What should we classify as an evil action, and what should we do about them?

Review: PISSPOOR - 'You Were Born To Die A Sinful Lamb'

As a 'critic' of music (and I use that term as loosely and as self-derogatory as possible), my email inbox is typically full of all sorts of promotional streams and album premieres. Some good, some bad; others just your run-of-the-mill, " I've hacked your shit, give me some Bitcoin or else " emails.

Editorial: MCU Rewatch - Phase 1

Isolation sucks. We know it, you know it; it's a fact. We miss our friends. We miss the pub. We miss that geriatric old guy on public transport who stares disapprovingly at the cool young kids with their skateboards and chewing gum and 8-track players.

New Noise Magazine
Review: Shatter Brain - 'Pitchfork Justice'

With a title as suggestive as Pitchfork Justice, it's all-too-easy for the mind to conjure up images of punishment and divine retribution. One can almost picture the scene in their mind's eye: the sky ablaze with a rain of fire and brimstone, clashes of tempered steel and righteous fury, weapons wielded by an angry, bloodthirsty mob, on the prowl and ready to make war.

The Character of Evil: Part II

In the second instalment of this ongoing series, we continue our reflections on the character of evil, asking: What exactly do we mean by 'evil'? What is the difference between something being genuinely evil, or just plain wrong? What should we classify as an evil action, and what should we do about them?

DEEP/DIVE - Clash of the Titans (2010)

Greetings all and welcome to DEEP/DIVE: Film Bunker 's newest (and greatest) editorial series! Join us for a somewhat regular column, where we will skewer, dissect and gleefully over-analyse a wide selection of fine films without any real need for doing so, because 'The Internet'.

Happy Media Round-up: Volume I

Editor's Note: Here @The Pitch of Discontent, we spend most of our free-time diving head first into the bountiful world of real-time media consumption. As you've likely already surmised, the world is a little batshit crazy right now, so we're also welcoming distractions of any form and medium.

Hysteria Magazine
Violent Soho // Rock In The Time Of The 'Rona

In this, the Year of Our Lord 2020, amid the fallout of the Great Dunny Roll Riots, you'd be hard-pressed to find an album title more ironically prescient than Everything Is A-OK.

The Character of Evil: Part I

It's hard not to look at the world around us right now and characterise specific actions as 'good' or 'evil'. Whether we use those words in theological, secular or moralistic terms, it does little to strip them of them contextual and descriptive power.

DEEP/DIVE - High Fidelity (2000)

Greetings all and welcome to DEEP/DIVE: FilmBunker 's newest (and greatest) editorial series! Join us for a somewhat regular column, where we will skewer, dissect and gleefully over-analyse a wide selection of fine films without any real need for doing so, because 'The Internet'.

Hysteria Magazine
Review: Violent Soho // Everything Is A-OK

There's a line in Vacation Forever-one of the pre-release singles for Violent Soho's long-awaited fifth album, Everything Is A-OK-that's become infamous: "There's a baby boomer across the street, and it won't stop staring at me."

"Our Tomorrows Are Running Out": Liberal Democracy and the Problem of Scale

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to attend a guest lecture presented by The University of Queensland's School of Political Science and International Studies. The lead speaker was Dr Klaus Schüler, who served as Federal Managing Director of the CDU (Christian Democratic Union) in Germany from 2007 to 2019.

On Beauty & Circles: Appreciating Caspian's 'Flowers of Light'

During a train ride to work some weeks ago, I had a strange moment of self-reflection. As I get older and life becomes increasingly fast-paced (read: exhausting), treasuring these often quiet moments of solitude in the morning and afternoon becomes more important.

"Would You Like to Know More?": Satire, American Stiob and Starship Troopers

Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers (1997), written by Edward Neumeier and based on the 1959 science fiction novel of the same name by Robert A. Heinlein, had its twentieth anniversary in 2017. And surprisingly, it still holds up, which is more than can be said for other films rounding out two decades worth of existence.

Celebrating A Decade Of Counterparts' Debut Album, 'Prophets'

For metalcore fans, the 2000s were a wild ride. Swept up in the wide-ranging, turn-of-the-millennium cultural transformation propelled along by the proliferation of the Internet as a musical conduit, demographic shifts, and the inevitable rise of social media, the often-maligned sub-genre rose from veritable obscurity within existing hardcore and metal communities throughout the decade to become a worldwide juggernaut.

DEEP/DIVE - Pitch Black (2000)

Greetings all and welcome to DEEP/DIVE: FilmBunker 's newest (and greatest) editorial series! Join us for a somewhat regular column, where we will skewer, dissect and gleefully over-analyse a wide selection of fine films without any real need for doing so, because 'The Internet'.

Review: Kvelertak - 'Splid'

The last time Scandinavian north stars Kvelertak released an album, Donald J. Trump wasn't President of the United States of America. Let that sink in a little bit. Four years feels like a lifetime.

Review: Birds of Prey

If there was an Academy Award for 'Best Unnecessarily Verbose Film Title,' I'm fairly confident that Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) would be an absolute shoo-in.

Review: Underwater

Here's a fun fact: thalassophobia is an intense and persistent fear of bodies of water that appear vast, dark, deep, and dangerous. And here's another one: atychiphobia refers to experiencing a relentless fear of failure and disappointment. What do these two particular phobias have in common, you may ask?

Hysteria Magazine
Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes // Acceptance Through Suffering

We're in a quiet, empty café underneath a Brisbane hotel, sitting across from Frank Carter and Dean Richardson-one half of UK rock outfit The Rattlenakes, as they get ready to begin their 2020 headline tour of Australia (their fourth in as little five years).

Review: Midway

Midway, the newest film from director Roland Emmerich is an American war film focusing on the famous World War II-era Battle of Midway conducted in the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

DEEP/DIVE - Best Films of the 2010s

Greetings all and welcome to DEEP/DIVE: Film Bunker 's newest (and greatest) editorial series! Join us for a somewhat regular column, where we will skewer, dissect and gleefully over-analyse a wide selection of fine films without any real need for doing so, because 'The Internet'.

The Irishman - Review

Considering that The Irishman (2019) has been director Martin Scorsese's darling project for close to fifteen years, languishing in development hell until filming truly started in earnest in 2016, it's hardly surprising to find out that Scorsese's twenty-sixth feature film generated headlines even before filming started.

Ad Astra - Review

In his foreword to the novelisation of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), British author Sir Arthur C. Clarke describes how many stars constitute the Milky Way galaxy.

The Nightingale - Review

Regardless of whether its form is subjective, physical or psychological, violence is always more shocking when it's experienced in isolation.

Hobbs & Shaw - Review

I was twelve years old when The Fast and The Furious (2001) came to the local twin theatre in my small country town. As I recall rather vividly, it was one of the social events of the year.

DEEP/DIVE - South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)

Greetings all and welcome to DEEP/DIVE: FilmBunker 's newest (and greatest) editorial series! Join us for a somewhat regular column, where we will skewer, dissect and gleefully over-analyse a wide selection of fine films without any real need for doing so, because 'The Internet'.