The top four tracks from the week of Aug 2-8.

Envy – coldrain

Coldrain has always been the little brother to Crossfaith in my mind, and because of that I wrote them off. That was a mistake. This song is huge! The chorus is so anthemic, 100% worthy of a sing-along, and the instrumentals are catchy and heavy simultaneously. They’ve come a long way from their early days, and this song proves that they’ve stood the test of time. They’re a band that’s adapted as the scene changed, but they never abandoned their sounds–or their fans–in favour of the newest trend. This is clear near the end of the song. A typical metalcore song would jump headfirst into a breakdown to close out the song, but coldrain take the opposite approach. They close the song out showcasing their songwriting skill with a blistering solo that’s just the right length. It’s little things like this that truly set them apart from the rest of the scene.

RIYL: Hands Like Houses, Memphis May Fire, Crown The Empire

 

Usurper – END

When I first heard that Brendan from Counterparts was starting a side project to try a different vocal style, I was skeptical. Then I heard this song, and I didn’t even believe it was Brendan’s vocals. It’s so different and so heavy. This band features alumni of Misery Signals and Structures, and Brendan from Counterparts, so there’s a whole lot of Canadian metalcore found in this band. This song is the first single off their upcoming EP, and they already have shows lined up with Stray From The Path, Knocked Loose, and they’re playing Loud Fest. Needless to say, they’re poised for some big things. It’s very interesting timing considering Counterparts is about to drop a new album, and Brendan’s time appears to be split between the two. Regardless of what happens, this song is heavy, and really showcases that wall of noise this style is known for. Having Will Putney play guitars is a huge perk, as he can record and produce the whole thing with an ear for perfection. This song begins with a bang, and is unrelenting for the entire 2 and a half minute song. If you dig heavy, you’ll dig this. Watch out for flying fists.

RIYL: Thy Art Is Murder, Nails, Fit For An Autopsy

 

Marmalade Feat. Lil Yatchy – Macklemore

I used to love Macklemore. His stuff before he blew up is awesome, and I still think Wing$ is one of the best social commentaries on consumerism in a long time. I didn’t listen to anything off his last album, and the singles he released before this one for the new album didn’t interest me. He used to be one of the best lyricists in the game, creating stories and multi-layered commentaries or satires (see Thrift Store), and then he found success. For all his talk about staying independent and not selling out, he really sold out. There hasn’t been a whole lot of meaningful lyrics coming from the Macklemore camp in a while. This song is no exception. Marmalade showcases all of these things. He’s selling out, making music that means nothing, and buying into the mumblerap movement by using a similar flow and featuring one of the leaders of that genre.

All that being said, this song is freaking catchy, and I love it. It’s sad to see how far Macklemore has fallen from his good lyrical content, but once I set that aside, I can really appreciate this song for what it is: big dumb fun. It’s like the Marvel movies. It’s the same thing over and over, and I’m tired of it, but if it’s fun, I’ll probably go watch them. This song is poppy, catchy, and positive. And there’s nothing wrong with it. Just don’t let this wildly catchy song blind you from the fact that Macklemore has officially sold out.

RIYL: DRAM, Kyle, Lil Yatchy

 

Outro – NF

Speaking of meaningful lyrics, NF dropped a new song. This guy is one of the most gifted rappers in the game right now, and this song is no different. I know lots of people compare NF to Eminem, and many say it’s just because NF is another white rapper, but I don’t think that’s it. Eminem is known as one of the best lyricists in rap, often mentioned with the likes of BIG, Ice Cube and 2Pac, Nas, and Kendrick Lamar. Additionally, Eminem is known to have that grit or intensity added into his rap when he’s rapping about something emotional or extreme. And I think those two reasons are why NF is often compared to Eminem. Great lyrics, and a grit/rawness to his flow. Also, it’s a compliment.

That conversation aside, NF is at the top of his game on this song. He paints a picture of the tension between humility and pride, trying new things and maintaining what made him popular in the first place, and struggling with being successful and worrying about losing it. This song truly is a glance into the mindset NF has going into this new album, all the struggles and doubts he has about his success, all while promoting hope for all his fans who struggle with mental wellness. NF’s brand has always been making ‘real music,’ which meant talking about real issues and not shying away from anything, regardless of how it will be perceived, especially in the Christian markets, and that’s something that I’ve always respected about NF. There’s no question, he’s gifted, and he has a passion unlike anyone else’s. He’s got raw, real music, and this song proves that 100%.

RIYL: Hopsin, Eminem, KB