#NewMusicFriday (December 1st 2023)

#NewMusicFriday Dec 01 2023

Although end-of-year lists are popping up, and everyone is sharing their Spotify Wrapped and Apple Music Replay stats from the past 11 months, that doesn’t mean that there’s new music. The first #NewMusicFriday of December is packed with new albums and EPs, all trying to end the year on a high.

Among them is Lil Lotus who delivers his second album, Nosebleeder’. He’s not the only solo artist looking to leave their mark. Former We Are The Ocean vocalist Liam Cromby delivers a collection of soulful Americana. Former letlive. guitarist Jeff Sahyoun’s Erase Theory return with their second EP this year.

Elsewhere, Full Of Hell and Nothing team up for ‘When No Birds Sang’, bringing together their respective brands of grindcore and shoegaze in the process. Guitar virtuoso Plini shows off his versatile skills on ‘Mirage,’ taking in elements of prog, djent and jazz, If you’re wanting some tech-metal Germany’s Unprocessed deliver ‘…And Everything In Between’. Also, The Seafloor Cinema‘s self-titled arrives, offering an eclectic mix of sounds; pop, math-rock, EDM and emo.

Lil Lotus
Photo Credit: Rowan Daly

Lil Lotus – Nosebleeder

Much like Machine Gun Kelly and fellow Boyfriendz member SMRTDEATH, Lil Lotus has transitioned from hip-hop to a hybrid mix that incorporates emo/pop-punk. As ‘Think Of You Tonight’ from 2012’s debut full-length, ‘Errør Bøy’, evidently showed, Lil Lotus is capable of pulling off pop-punk bangers. Now he’s returned with its follow-up – ‘Nosebleeder’.

With Lotus (aka John Elias Villagran III) approaching his thirties, he takes the opportunity to reflect, touching on subjects such as friendships, addiction, mental health, and toxic relationships. While the title track sees him saying goodbye to his L.A. partying days. It loosely ties these 14 songs together with ease. However, their execution is mixed.

On the surface, Lotus’ hybrid sound is passable, even if at times, comes off as bland and formulaic. Plucky pop-punk mixed with trap beats is a style Lotus is comfortable doing. When you throw in a handful of strong hooks, you’re left with an album that is fine but doesn’t quite reach the levels of being memorable.

Songs such as the title track, ‘what a time to be alive’, and ‘play dead’ are delivered with plenty of energy and emotion. Moreso album highlights ‘ghost’ and ‘when life gives you lemons’ both benefit from Lotus’ ability to play off a female guest with Alexis Munroe and Sophie Powers respectively adding a favourable dynamic. The downside of these songs is the hollow production.

On paper, Matt Malpass and Mike Pepe have credible and fitting credentials counting blink-182, Taking Back Sunday and the aforementioned MGK. Yet ‘Nosebleeder’ suffers from a lack “oomph” that hinders the soaring melodies and emotional depth from truly shining. Although Lil Lotus doesn’t help matters with the occasional use of auto-tune, and irregular semi-mumbling vocals he utilises.

Erase Theory

Erase Theory – The Good Kind EP

Arriving less than a year after their debut outing, Erase Theory haven’t wasted any time by delivering a second EP. Led by former letlive. guitarist Jeff Sahyoun, the quartet equally pull from punk as much as they do EDM, with The Weeknd being cited as an influence along the way. At their core is Sahyoun’s introspective and emotional outpouring yet it’s executed with rejuvenated energy.

From the outset, ‘Taking A Beat’ formulates ‘The Good Kind’s slick, cinematic, and hefty sound. Atmospheric synths give way to crunching guitars and Sahyoun’s smooth vocals. The ominous atmospherics continue into ‘Man Overboard,’ albeit taking a somewhat balladic route. ‘So They Say’ captures the arena-sized choruses that Erase Theory are aiming for, yet it’s watered down by the embellished production.

Elsewhere, ‘The Subtitled’ carries itself with a distorted groove. Helped by punctuated drums, it again demonstrates Sahyoun’s ability to pull off silky melodies. The title track, ‘The Good Kind’ ends this five-track outing with a direct slice of modern rock. Designed to equally be bold and emotional, it’s the type of balladic rock that borders on forgettable yet Sahyoun’s stirring delivery prevents that from happening.

Although Sahyoun and Erase Theory‘s lofty ambitions aren’t quite realised on ‘The Good Kind’,  you could consider them still a work in progress. Nevertheless, one aspect they have struck gold on is amplifying Sahyoun’s passionate songwriting. It’s an EP that’s threaded together by reflective, diaristic tales of joy, despair, uncertainty, and pride. Their brand of electronic-infused melodic hard rock is, on the surface, admirable. Yet, the reliance on glitchy effects and polished production spoils their lyrical rawness.

What is out on #NewMusicFriday?

LiL Lotus – Nosebleeder
Full Of Hell / Nothing – When No Birds Sang (Split)
Liam Cromby – What Can I Trust, If I Can’t Trust Love
Erase Theory – The Good Kind
Plini – Mirage
The Seafloor Cinema – The Seafloor Cinema
Unprocessed – …And Everything In Between
Beans On Toast – The Toothpaste And The Tube
BJØRKØ – Heartrot
Dowsing – No One Said This Would Be Easy
Animal Shithouse – Who Taught You To Hate?
The Young Hearts – Somewhere Through The Night
Orphaned Land – A Heaven You May Create (Live In Tel Aviv)
Killing Me Softly – Autumn Lost In Silence
Humour – A Small Crowd Gathered To Watch Me
Get Wrong – Get Wrong
Cobra Spell – 666
Cryptosis – The Silent Call
House Of Harm – Playground
Stengah – Downward Mechanic
Varathron – The Crimson Temple
Visions Of Atlantis – A Pirate’s Symphony
Extortionist – Devoid
Reap – Born From Plague
Embrace Your Punishment – Made Of Stone

If you think I’ve missed something or have a new album/EP/song to tell us about, tell us about it here.

If you’re looking for the latest tracks focusing on rock, punk, hardcore, metal, emo, and everything in between, then check out our ‘Newish Music’ playlist on Spotify or Apple Music.


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