Raw Breed, Collected (2019)
The Collected 7" from Denver, CO's Raw Breed combines the four-song tour promo from May of 2018 with the four-song demo from January of 2018 for a total running time of just under nine minutes. Expect fast-paced and in your face hardcore that's more traditionally based than I tend to prefer, but delivered with hyper-fierce vocal barks and a grimy intensity/aesthetic that almost has sort of a powerviolence lean to it. I'm think I'm mainly gleaning that from the vocals and the production—some added distortion on the bass, occasional feedback bleeding out of the guitars—but the style is really just straightforward, no-frills hardcore. The lyrics bring to mind the Discharge school of get in, get out, keep it short and to the point:
World in disorder
Life's a mistake
Hate is a habit
You can't break...
Packaged in a two-sided black and white foldover, the first pressing is limited to 500 copies and still available on either gray marble (hand-numbered out of 158) or opaque red (limited to 341) vinyl.
Miracle Drug/Piece of Mind, Split (2019)
I must admit that I haven't done a great job of keeping up with Miracle Drug (Louisville, KY) since their 2015 demo. If you're unfamiliar with the impressive résumés of the lineup, head to Google and do some research. They're clearly a hardcore band, but casting a wide net of influences in a way that's neither generic nor able to be pigeonholed into some spin-off subgenre. I'm hearing a slightly darker and more intense sound this time around, especially during the excellent "Dong Fang." I need to make sure and go back to check out the How Much is Enough EP now.
Piece of Mind (Tulsa, OK) cranks out more vicious metalcore that's perfect for fans of Turmoil and that sort of thing. Right away it's just a powerful balance of chugging rhythms and stabby discordance with scathing vocals, bitter lyrics, and a forceful energy to the songwriting. I can't help but believe this band is gonna continue garnering the wider attention they deserve, 'cause this is top-notch shit. Look for the new Unfulfilled EP—also from Trip Machine—coming soon.
The 7" comes housed in a nicely illustrated red, white, and black sleeve with a two-sided black and white insert; and the first pressing is limited to 625 copies and available on red and black splatter (hand-numbered out of 148), white (186 copies), or clear (225 copies) vinyl.
- Trip Machine Laboratories (7")
- Bandcamp (mp3)
- Spotify (Miracle Drug stream)
- Spotify (Piece of Mind stream)
Ryan Patrick White, Dying in Deep River (2019)
The debut solo full-length from Ryan Patrick White is a bit of a change of pace for Trip Machine. Known in part for his work with far more aggressive acts such as Cast in Blood and Jagged Visions, this material is actually not a huge departure from White's output with groups such as Call it Arson or Murmur. I guess you'd call it acoustic singer-songwriter stuff, but there's definitely an emo-ish quality to it (in a good way). Overall, I have to say, the writing and performance are really freakin' nice here. The basic description probably has your mind jumping to something like Dashboard Confessional or whatnot—and there are similarities—but this is so much better to me. Great songwriting that's emotional in tone and delivery, and without even the slightest touch of overbearing sappiness. Another solid entry in Ryan's impressively sizeable/diverse discography. Wasn't sure I'd be into this, but I'm in. Well done.
The disc is a pro-duped CD-R (which means it's probably limited to fewer than 300 copies) in a simple digipak, and is available for a mere $6, so give it a shot.
Love & Trust, Love & Trust (2019)
Love & Trust is another Louisville, KY unit and actually features members of Miracle Drug as well as Constraint and Heartstopper. Relatively straightforward hardcore that has an old school vibe but tosses around just enough crunch, melody, and texture to stay interesting. They're not rewriting the book or anything, but they know what they're doing and execute it without fail. I can't say it makes me stand up and shout, but it's certainly nothing to complain about. I dig the production—specifically the excellent bass presence—and it's a short but sweet set of tunes with plenty of potential.
The label will be issuing this one on 100 cassettes (25 orange, 75 gray), and you can pre-order now for just $5. They should start shipping within days, if they're not already...