Defeater are back with a new single, 'Mothers' Son'.
It is 2011. You just purchased Defeater's latest record, 'Empty Days & Sleepless Nights', from the Bridge 9 Records online store along with a new Have Heart hoodie. It's now considered "cool" to listen to all manner of emo and post-hardcore bands alike, but also proper hardcore bands too. You love La Dispute but you also love Comeback Kid, and you ball your eyes out every time you listen to Pianos Become The Teeth's 'The Lack Long After'. You play in your own band with a few friends from school that could best be described as "B9 worship", and in a few years time, you'll change gears to copying every big Deathwish band. You're a slightly depressed but somewhat musically inclined teenager, and life is pretty good.
I think the above sums up a lot of people who fell in love with Defeater, and many bands like them, around 2010-2011; that explosive period after people started losing their shit over this particular American group's 2009's debut LP, 'Travels' (sweet Christ, has it been ten years already?) and their magnificent aforementioned sophomore LP. Which is why many have been sorely waiting for a return from the band since about 2016 or so; just hoping that anything of real activity would happen again. A new tour, a new song, a new album, dare we even dream - anything!
Yet that silence now ends with today's release of new single, 'Mothers' Son'. With vocalist Derek Archambault, guitarist Jake Woodruff, drummer Joe Longobardi (who now also drums in The Amity Affliction) and bassist Mike Poulin, Defeater seem to be getting back in the saddle now for 2019.
Within two-and-a-half minutes, this is most definitely a Defeater track. Lyrically, it seemingly continues the conceptual family narrative that's thematically driven along every album from 'Travels' up to 'Abandoned' (2015); talking about brotherhood, war, kinship, trust, hell, religion, and death in the vein of 2013's 'Letters Home' LP. Musically, it's got the gloomy, chaotic, and gritty melodic hardcore instrumentals that we'd all expect to puncture the soundscapes of a Defeater track by now; a dark musical bed-rock for Derek's emotional screams to move atop of. All with soft pianos and eerie amp feedback taking the track on home to it's watery grave.
Yet, in all honesty, as much as I do love Defeater, and while this song is still quite hot off the presses, I'm feeling that the absence of guitarist/producer/song-writer Jay Maas since his firing back around 2015-2016 definitely shows with this song. It just doesn't have that "it" factor. It doesn't make me think "wow" after the fist listen, much like what older tracks like 'Blessed Burden', 'Waves Crash, Clouds Roll' and 'No Saviour' once did for me. While not a bad song per se, Mothers' Son' almost feels like Defeater covering Defeater; like a band trying to sound like what they feel Defeater should sound like.
Their self-titled fifth LP is currently set for release on May 10th, 2019. Check 'Mothers' Son' out for yourself below: