What is your preference in post-hardcore? Mine is something raw, with some melody whether it’s in the music or the vocals, and fuck tons of emotion. Preferably a variety of emotions too. Nobody is fucking angry 24 hours a day. Let’s have some dynamics. Dynamics are king. All hail dynamics.
Chicago’s Droughts are one of my faves. For sure. Their post hardcore sits on the knife edge between ferocious anger and intense vulnerability. The music itself is nuanced and thoughtful, taking in everything from blast beats to soaring epic passages. A tour de force. It is also so beautifully and endearingly candid. Singer Joseph Klomes went in depth on what the album means when he spoke to us recently.
Irish chaps ILENKUS used to be a bit more exploratory with epic song lengths and time changes. On recent EP Hunger they fined tuned the shit out of their sound and, in my opinion, are all the better for it. Now these lads are ferocious. Unrelenting. Brutal. But the lyrics, man the lyrics are so un post-hardcore that it makes me happy on the inside. Here’s an example “This is what I live / This is it / Finishing the painting today / Meeting tomorrow / Leave that memo on the fridge the time will come to pay the bill.”
3. Tired Minds
Ain’t nothing ‘tired’ about Australian outfit Tired Minds. The song I’ve streamed above is one of their more nuanced efforts, beginning with a restraint that pretty quickly descends into madness. Elsewhere on their debut record there’s also balls to the wall fury (witness opener ‘Low’). There’s always an underlying vulnerability though. Plus, it’s raw as fuck.
4. Less Art
This quintet definitely reside in the more melodic and restrained department. I guess we’re hearing an At The Drive-In and Quicksand vibe with them. The thing I love is the arrangements though. They pretty much eschew the traditional verse/chorus/verse malarkey in favour of writing damn fine songs that are an exploration. They don’t fuck about though. No messing around for Less Art.
5. Grey Hairs
I think these folks play a kind of horror post-hardcore. It’s definitely eerie as all hell. Post-hardcore for the haunted house. Or kind of like if Melvins were a hardcore band. There’s definitely some Buzz in the vocals for sure.
6. la luna
This Canadian group are definitely going for the Perfect Pussy approach. Raw. Raw. Raw. Female vocals. Melody. And who can complain when it is this damn good. There’s something really cool about that barked female vocal that I just love. In fairness, la luna a bit less found of noise and feedback than Perfect Pussy. That’s all good in my book. Never liked all that feedback anyroad.
Okay, okay. Germany’s Jungbluth have 11k likes on Facebook so they’re hardly unknown or ‘new’. But fuck it, I’d never heard of them, I really like them, and so here they are on my list. Go suck a duck. So, is this rock ‘n’ post-hardcore? That’s what I’m calling it. Definitely some Big Bopper in here.
8. Harvey Pekar
I wrote my thesis for my masters about alternative comix legend Harvey Pekar, so these guys would be on the list even if they were absolutely rubbish. They’re not rubbish though. So that’s nice. They do possess a nice chug and very nice touch of metal to their post hardcore face melting. I recommend.
pulses. are super fucking weird and I’ve never heard anything like it. That always pleases me. I mean that used to happen all the time but now everything sounds the same. So here we have gang vocals, funk, math rock riffs, pop melodies, and tons of humour. Do it. You won’t regret it.