The top four tracks brand new from the week of September 20-26.
Back In My Bag – Aha Gazelle
Aha is one of the newest signings to Reach Records, and immediately stands out with this single, engaging a style of the genre that no Reach artist has done so far. Instead of going hard on a huge trap beat, this song is a little more subdued, with a slower flow and a calmer beat. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an incredible song, and still gets me hyped up, but it isn’t the usual Mineo/Lecrae/KB track that Reach has been putting out. There’s shades of Migos and Kodak Black in this song, while still not being a carbon copy. It’s awesome to see him branch out and make music he wants to make, and it’s awesome to see Reach really emphasis the originality of the artist rather than make them sound like other artists on the label. I love the line “God is good/My girl is bad,” because it shows the balance of what being a Christian rapper in the world looks like. You need to engage the culture while still pointing towards Christ. Nothing wrong with thinking your girl is ‘bad.’ Aha has a great singing voice in this song, and could easily put out an R&B song. Some quick lyrics, both in wit and delivery, really showcase why Aha deserves attention, and takes a few listens to catch. Don’t sleep on this man.
RIYL: Migos, Lecrae, 2 Chainz
Poison – Limbs
LIMBS, hailing from Tampa, came to my attention when Underoath, also from Tampa, showcased them on their facebook page a few months ago. Since then, I’ve been listening to them non-stop. They’ve got that rawness akin to The Chariot of Norma Jean, while showcasing a talent in instrumentation similar to Underoath themselves. In fact, Tim McTague, Underoath’s guitarist, produced this track. This single marks LIMBS signing to Equal Vision Records, alongside an album announcement. This song is full to the brim with headbang-worthy riffs, toying with the line between The White Noise and Beartooth. Just chaotic enough, Limbs shows enough originality to really make an impact in the scene with the right push. There’s no denying it, these guys, along with Beartooth and Wage War, are bringing the new kind of metalcore to the masses.
RIYL: The White Noise, Beartooth, Underoath
Dark Flag – Phinehas
Finally. Finally, Phinehas is on a label that cares and can really push them towards the success they’ve always deserved. After stints on both Red Cord and Artery Records, Phinehas has found a home on Solid State, the label their fans knew they should be on all along. Sharing the same limelight as bands like Silent Planet and Fit For A King will do wonders for a band that deserves the same success those two bands have found in the same amount of time. And this lead single offers no reason to assume otherwise. Dark Flag features Phinehas’ trademark guitar workmanship, better than almost any other band in the genre. A real solo hear, a tasty riff there, and unlimited tapping capabilities without getting boring or monotonous. The vocals are better than they’ve ever been, both screamed and clean, and the breakdowns show these guys haven’t missed a beat, even with their drummer stepping down. If you’re a fan of real metalcore, these guys should be on your list. They are far from your run-of-the-mill breakdown band, featuring multiple polyrhythms and guitar work that would make August Burns Red blush. The best moment of this song comes right at the end, with Sean screaming out “The only way out is six feet deep,” before breaking into a blistering breakdown. Phinehas has never been a band to mail it in, and they prove that they’re always pushing forward with this song, both lyrically and instrumentally.
RIYL: August Burns Red, Oh Sleeper, As I Lay Dying
Losing Control – RED
Back in 2006, RED would probably rank up in my favourite bands. However, with every release after that, they sunk further and further down the list, never capturing the same magic they had on their debut album. However, this song really feels like a return to form, especially in the chorus. There is more grit in his vocals, more emphasis on the strings and keyboards while maintaining the heaviness in the guitar and drums. The melody line really brings back memories, and the eight-string guitar adding those lows brings a smile to my face. While the other single, Still Alive, feels like a Skillet song, or some run of the mill song from a WWE video game, Losing Control feels like the old RED. It’s heavy, it has that symphonic element, and there are screams again. The ending feels like they never skipped a beat, bringing in that heavy, the screams, and the epic conclusion to a song dealing with emotional weight. Welcome back, RED.
RIYL: Chevelle, Breaking Benjamin, Skillet
As always, you can listen to all of the TetraT songs at this playlist here: