The latest from Deathwish; HarborLights, Greet Death & Frail Body

Deathwish has a number of great new & recent records that I feel you should all be keeping a close eye on – here’s a few. 

HarborLights – ‘Isolation Ritual’ (out now)

One of my favourite 2019 discoveries so far this year is Massachusetts four-piece, HarborLights. The emerging post-rock outfits music sounds like a river littered with peonies floating gracefully past you; like a flower slowly blossoming into its own. Which is what the records lead single, ‘From Virtue (Sacrament)‘, is to a T. This particular hypnotic post-rock track glitters and glides over beautifully melodic lead-guitar ostinatos and the soft, alluring vocals from vocalist/guitarist Matthew Wright. This track, and even much of the remaining full-length, feels like the spiritual successor to what Moving Mountains did best together. In fact, this heart-rendering piece is not just the best cut from their latest LP, ‘Isolation Ritual‘, but is also a perfect gateway drug into the equally dynamic, dirge-heavy, and discordant sonic world of HarborLights. Get involved.

Greet Death – ‘New Hell‘ (November 8th)

You know a band will, at the very least, be good when they’re named after an Explosions In The Sky song. What’s great about Flint’s Greet Death’s latest tune, the eight-minute soul-searcher of ‘You’re Gonna Hate What You’ve Done,’ is how it starts out life as a relaxing, drifting, but sunny-disposed folk-rock track with twanging guitars and soft vocals, but where it goes from there is what’s noteworthy. At first, it alls sit somewhere between Jeff Buckley, Bob Dylan, Smashing Pumpkins and some well-used chorus pedals: it’s delicate, moving, and heartfelt. Yet with that hefty (but earned) run-time, Greet Death build it all up to dizzying heights. As before you know it, these big and fuzzy, distorted guitars slam down, as the instrumental rockets around, kicking off its shoes with crashing drums and shredding legato guitar solos that don’t overshine the rest, feeling like just the right accompaniment.

The first half of ‘You’re Gonna Hate What You’ve Done‘ is intimate – it’s just for you and you alone. Yet that noisy second-half is where you sit down in front of a blown-out speaker, crank the volume all the way, and let it wash over you. It’s a statement, to let everyone else around you know where you’re at in life. (Something you can also hear on ‘Strange Days.’) Greet Death’s music is biting loneliness pressed firmly onto distorted, touching post-rock/alt-rock soundscapes, and it’s utterly compelling.

Frail Body – ‘A Brief Memoriam’ (November 1st)

Pianos Become The Teeth circa 2009-2011, is that you? With a brief feedback screech, the opening riff of ‘Your Death Makes Me Wish Heaven Was Real‘ sees Frail Body suddenly shoot off the rails with a chaotic, fevered post-hardcore skramz sound that makes them a perfect act to slot underneath the Deathwish Inc. banner. Of the other underground acts from their shared scene – artists like For Your Health, .gif from God and (the extremely wicked) Shin Gaurd – Frail Body storm ahead with a frenzied, emotive sound that’s as vicious as it is palpable. This Midwestern U.S. trio sounds like they’re always teetering on the edge of a knife with songs like ‘Your Death Makes Me Wish Heaven Was Real‘ (and fellow single, ‘Pastel.’)

Your Death…‘ is measured and dynamic, but moves like a heavy panic attack; flurried guitar riffs shoot past with busy-as-shit drumming. The snare-rim hits and spoken vocals of the softer middle-eight soon mesh into chunky melodic hardcore palm-muted guitars and piercing screams that only serve to hit home the loss, mourning and incarnate understanding of the songs reincarnation lyricism: “It never occurred, That I would have to search, For your comfort between the branches and the leaves.” It’s a confronting, dissonant piece for the difficult, inevitable bereavements in our lives. ‘A Brief Memorian‘ is shaping up to be an arresting, painfully real screamo release – don’t miss it, friends.

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