Welcome to The Weekly Riff, where every Friday arvo, BLUNT looks back at five of the sickest and spiciest tunes that dropped throughout the week that was!
EVERY TIME I DIE – ‘PLANET SHIT’
Hardcore has always lent itself especially well to political themes, thanks in no short part to the fact it’s really easy to make pissed-off music when there’s a lot of shit to be pissed off about. Every Time I Die have always been great at channeling their genuine angst at the state of the world into three-and-a-half minutes of gory shreddage, but with ‘Planet Shit’, it’s like they’ve found a way to condense all the rage they’ve ever felt into one neat little package. The track is unapologetically brutal both sonically and lyrically, as frontman Keith Buckley calls for corrupt politicians to cop a well-earned brick, rope or guillotine, and asking fans the age-old question: “Whose fucking side are you on!?”
HOPE D – ‘HAPPY HANGOVER’
Co-written with fellow alt-pop trailblazer G Flip, Hope D has perfectly embodied the kaleidoscopic chaos of a messy night out on this fantastical banger. Some of its lyrics don’t make a whole bunch of sense, but as D herself says, that’s exactly the point: the track is about “fully tripping out and having experiences that will later become nostalgic”, and its topsy-turvy, tongue-in-cheek quips are emblematic of “the conversations you have when you aren’t really on earth on a night like that”. At the end of the day, ’Happy Hangover’ is just a whole lot of fun, and has us dying for this whole ‘global pandemic’ thing to end so we can hit the town and fuck shit up again.
SNAIL MAIL – ‘VALENTINE’
We’ll be the first to vouch that Snail Mail’s 2018 debut Lush was pretty goddamn brilliant. But with her long-awaited second album, Valentine – due out Friday, November 5th via Matador / Remote Control – the Maryland-native magnate has not only one-upped herself, but absolutely skyrocketed to a whole new dimension of talent. The record as a whole is a punchy and poignant indie-rock epic wherein every second feels more impactful than the last, and just yesterday (alongside the LP’s official announcement), Snail Mail shared its gut-punching title track. Ebbing and flowing between heady, emotional verses and an eruptive chorus just begging to be sung along to, there’s no doubt that ‘Valentine’ will become a staple of Snail Mail’s live set.
Also, this music video is just fucking wild.
TELLTALE – ‘SLOWBURN’
When you think about the biggest and catchiest hooks in pop-punk, the songs that come to mind probably aren’t the ones that deal with serious and sobering topics like climate change. But with ‘Slowburn’, Virginian four-piece Telltale have crafted a track that goes mighty hard roaring through a set of headphones, but still incites pontification on an uncomfortable topic. In a press release, frontman John Carteret said that ‘Slowburn aims “to encourage people to ask questions”, because as he points out, “it doesn’t require an uncompromising shift to sustainable living, just an introspective look at [asking], ‘What can I do better?’”
WOLF & CHAIN – ‘AN UNFORTUNATE TALE OF TWO LOVERS AND AN INSATIABLE TASTE FOR POISON’
Honestly, we’re just going to copy and paste a paragraph from this single’s press release, because whoever wrote it has done a better job than we could ever hope to at summing up this soul-seizing scorcher of a track. So, per the official byline: “Desperate and disconcerting, ‘An Unfortunate Tale Of Two Lovers And An Insatiable Taste for Poison’ disarms with turbulent drums and violent guitars as frontman Jack Cumes’ luring vocals pitch and prowl. Moving with high-octane punk-fused chaos, ‘Poison’ is not for the fainthearted, containing an obsessive sonic force that isn’t opposed to crossing certain lines.”
And, as Cumes says for himself, the My Chemical Romance-echoing track is “about blindness to love, how it can manipulate you, consume you and delude you. In the context of the fairytale world, it’s about this character who follows their lover down a dark and destructive path to becoming this ‘Bonnie & Clyde-esque’ junkie couple, robbing hospitals for their fix. It overlays this darker shade on a fantastical ideal of love and escape.”