#NewMusicFriday (May 26th 2023)

With the Slam Dunk Festival (read our preview here) and the Heavy Music Awards taking place this action-packed Bank Holiday weekend, you might think #NewMusicFriday might be a quiet affair, right? Well, of course, that’s not going to happen as the music. never. stops. Ever.

Canadian rockers The Dirty Nil lead this week’s round of album and EP releases. Amongst them is the third full-length from Heart Attack Man, and new albums from Incendiary, WSTR, and Phoxjaw.

While Punk Rock Factory (with a little help from Arch Enemy’s Alissa White-Gluz) hop on the ‘The Little Mermaid’ hype train with ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’. There’s also Midtown‘s first release in nearly 20 years, albeit not songs they admit they didn’t write themselves. ‘We’re Too Old To Write New Songs, So Here’s Some Old Songs We Didn’t Write’ is a four-track EP consisting of Lagwagon, Elvis Costello, Hot Rod Circuit, and Pavement covers.

For those wanting heavy stuff, New York hardcore stalwarts Incendiary drop ‘Change The Way You Think About Pain,’ Anklebiter delivers an abundance of old-school hardcore punk with ‘To Live and Withstand,’ and rising Canadian’s Arrival Of Autumn provide a blistering dose of metalcore on ‘Kingdom Undone’. There’s also the return of black metal titans Immortal, who are looking to pummel you on their tenth album – ‘War Against All’.

The Dirty Nil 2023

Photo Credit: Steph Montani

The Dirty Nil – Free Rein To Passions

By now you kinda know what to expect from Ontario trio The Dirty Nil; big riffs, and even bigger choruses delivered with an abundance of swagger. ‘Free Rein To Passions’ is no different and that’s what makes it so bloody great!

From the opening chugging riffs of ‘Celebrate’ to the brash morality reflective finale that is ‘The Light, The Void And Everything’TDN give it their all in the span of 32 minutes. ‘Nicer Guy’ stomps in with charisma, and when paired with ‘Undefeated’, there’s an overwhelming flair to the trio’s ability to write headbanging-ready hooks. Equally, ‘Land of Clover’ thrives in a sharp, unpinned grunge manner with radiant vocals from Luke Bentham.

Throughout, Bentham, drummer Kyle Fisher, and incoming bassist Sam Tomlinson, serve up a record that is all killer, no filler. ‘Blowin’ Up Things In The Woods’ flourishes with Fisher’s pounding floor tom drum work, Tomlinson’s pulsating bass lines and Bentham’s twangy fretboard play. Along with ‘Stupid Jobs’, TDN show there’s no need to cover their lyrics with metaphors. On the latter, they brilliantly capture the youthful “f*ck you” attitude of punk rock daydreaming, escaping the monotomous 9-5 grind. Whereas the scorching title track ignites with big power chords, dynamic bass work, and Bentham’s unhinged vocals.

‘Free Rein To Passions’ is a record that pours with absolute, unashamed joy. Through their simplistic yet modest songwriting with a healthy dose of rock n’ roll, The Dirty Nil continuously create a distinctive brand of rock that leaves you with a massive grin plastered on your face from start to finish. Long may they reign.

Credit: Ryan Johns

Heart Attack Man – Freak Of Nature

Some may know Heart Attack Man for their memes, but we prefer to know them for their brand of punk rock. Their third full-length, ‘Freak of Nature’, sees the Ohio trio at their most self-critical, especially vocalist Eric Egan. This most notable happens on ‘Late To The Orgy’. Alongside Egan’s crippling self-doubt, it comfortably sits in a grunge-like musical skin.

Elsewhere, there’s ‘Stick  Up’ which is carried with a Beastie Boys-esque charisma and a looping melody. Heart Attack Man has somewhat broadened their sound, complementing Egan’s reflective songwriting yet as tracks such as ‘C4’‘Clown School’, and ‘On Your Bedside’ show, the trio continue to thrive with angst-ridden melodic punks. However, the best instance of this on the title track. It’s frankly explosive and sounds massive in its chorus. Whereas ‘Like a Kennedy’ allows the band to become equally dynamic and catchy.

Ultimately, ‘Freak of Nature’ shows Heart Attack Man‘s growing set of capabilities. They’ve considerably figured out how to bring it all together, combining emotion, and large hooks with dynamism.

The Deadnotes – Forever Outsider

German duo The Deadnotes have said they’ve always been difficult to pigeonhole- “too pop for indie kids and too indie for pop kids; too pop for punk and too punk for pop”.  However, instead of dwelling on it,‘ Forever Outsider’ embraces it.

Its title track is a riveting opener, rich in musicianship with piano and brass instruments, oh and a children’s choir. Lyrically it juxtapositions alienation with a celebratory musical flair. It’s a theme that threads the EP together. 

A Glade Inside The Vines’ accepts past mistakes with a stirring guitar solo and a guest spot from German singer-songwriter Shitney Beers. ‘Downward Spiral’  carries itself with a Brit-pop bounce that is far more pleasing than it probably should be, even with its saxophone solo. ‘Dog Years’ rounds off the EP in an equally glorious mood. Countered by the notion of overthinking, it’s executed with melodic charm and dynamic percussion, it soars with positivity and acceptance.

By taking the notion of not needing to be accepted by niche circles, The Deadnotes are able to thrive by simply doing whatever they want.

What is out on #NewMusicFriday?

The Dirty Nil – Free Rein To Passions
Heart Attack Man – Freak Of Nature
The Deadnotes – Forever Outsider
Incendiary – Change The Way You Think About Pain
Phoxjaw – notverynicecream
WSTR – Til’ the Wheels Fall Off
Punk Rock Factory – Poor Unfortunate Souls
Midtown – We’re Too Old To Write New Songs So Here’s Some Old Songs We Didn’t Write
Civil Villains – Motion Sick
Anklebiter – To Live And Withstand
Immortal – War Against All
Arrival Of Autumn – Kingdom Undone
Brodie Milner – Tragicomedy
Elegant Weapons – Horns For A Halo
Fighting The Phoenix – Where Demons Go To Die
The Intersphere – Wanderer
JAAW – Supercluster
Legion Of The Damned – The Poison Chalice
Low Coast – Existing The Dream
Nascar Aloe – Hey Asshole
The Ramona Flowers – Hey You
SOM – Faith
Versus The World – The Bastards Live Forever
Water From Your Eyes – Everyone’s Crushed

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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