On their new EP, ‘Blossom’, Seattle quartet Pastel Faces neatly tread the fine line of melodic hardcore and pop-punk with progressive flourishes. Tracks such as ‘Silver Lining’ and ‘Stay’ shift between impactful screams and towering melodies.
Throughout its five tracks, there are nods to emo, pop-punk, and hardcore of the past. For example, ‘No Requiem’ bursts with melodic emotion before delivering a hefty breakdown. While ‘Heaven Sword’ throws in midwest emo riffs alongside a soaring hook and mindful lyricism.
It’s clear Pastel Faces are a band who very much wears their influences on their sleeves, so following the release of ‘Blossom’, we thought it’d be a good time to learn more about the bands and artists that have inspired their new EP.
Counterparts is one of our biggest influences as a whole and the reason that we got into melodic hardcore in the first place. Hearing a band for the first time that is high energy, has that much emotion in their instrumentation, and is heavy all at the same time had a huge impact on the way we write music. You can hear the influence in the EP the most in the drums and breakdowns.
Story of Hope
Story of Hope was a Japanese metalcore band that had killer lead guitar parts. They made us realize that music could be both catchy and technical at the same time. Antonio wrote the tapping part in the second verse of ‘Silver Lining’ after listening to a song by them. We also base a lot of our chord progressions and voicings on J-Rock, which is why we tend to get the comment that our songs sound like anime intros from time to time.
Another huge influence on us as a whole is Silverstein. Particularly the album ‘This is How the Wind Shifts’. I feel like not enough people talk about how great that album is. It’s the perfect blend of catchy hooks, and creative groovy breakdowns that we really aspire to.
Pierce The Veil
Pierce the Veil is another great example of a band that really does their own thing and we really admire that. They aren’t afraid to have songs that sound completely different from one another with a mix of fast punk songs and more chill poppy songs. They also find a way of writing riffs that get stuck in your head just as much as the vocal melodies. In a world where bands can tend to sound the same from song to song, we really try to emulate Pierce the Veil in regard to taking chances.
This one is a little bit out of leftfield, but Nujabes was a chill-hop DJ that really laid the groundwork for lo-fi music today. He also did the OST for the anime ‘Samurai Champloo’. Throughout our EP, there is a heavy amount of programmed keys and synths that really take a lot of inspiration from Nujabes in the vibe and atmosphere that we create with it.
The album ‘Wake the Dead’ is a melodic hardcore classic. After a show we played, someone asked us why our drums went so hard and the biggest reason for that is the amount of influence that our drummer takes from that album. It’s fast and the drums sit in the pocket of the entire album. They aren’t particularly flashy but they do exactly what they need to do.
‘Blossom‘ EP by Pastel Faces is out now.