Listening to Employed To Serve songs to forget I exist.
The mind is a prison. That’s one of the core themes behind Employed To Serve’s latest single, ‘Exist,’ a track that shoots straight about its dive into one’s own existence, refusing to submit to your own mental bashing from that sinister inner voice. What’s more, going off the lyrics and the music video of a young girl obsessed with Employed To Serve, another big theme is one of a preteen girl – a stand-in for vocalist Justine Jones as a younger person – dreaming about playing music with her favourite bands. But then fighting against her own doubts, proving not just to herself but to other people, mostly men, that she can indeed make something of herself through music.
A little more ‘metal’ and a little less ‘core’ this time around, ‘Exist‘ sits at this interesting but compact equilibrium between the U.K. band’s previous single, the rockier ‘Party’s Over‘, and the bludgeoning metalcore of 2019’s incredibly solid ‘Eternal Forward Motion‘ LP. So there’s plenty of rock and/or roll parts, with some mosh aspects and plenty of riffs. With guitarist Sammy Urwin’s gruffer yells punctuating the track next to Justine’s always caustic screams, we get this rollicking mid-tempo metal track that sees Employed To Serve changing things up a bit. It’s not a drastic shift, but it is, at the very least, some form of growth. And really, it’s difficult to say that about most bands within hardcore and metalcore these days.
Quite notably, there are far wilder guitar antics throughout ‘Exist,’ indicating that they’re slowly heading in a more traditional metal direction. “Employed To Shred” more like it! A direction I’m here for and am keen to see just how far they’ll take it on forthcoming album, ‘Conquering‘, which drops September 17th via Spinefarm/Universal Music Group. (Also love all the shoutouts to their mates in Palm Reader, Svalbard, and others shown in the young girl’s room, and those little figurines made by Mattachine Society.)