5 Artists You Need to Know: June 2021 | Revolver

5 Artists You Need to Know: June 2021

From spiked-bat crossover to heavy shoegaze
Dead Heat Press 2021 1600 x 900 , Dead Heat
Dead Heat
photo courtesy of Dead Heat

Here at Revolver, we pride ourselves in living on the cutting edge of heavy music, from metal and hardcore to industrial and goth, and we try to keep you on the front line, too, by giving you a deep look at the innovative noisemakers poised to shape the sound and the scene. To that end, we've rounded up a handful of musicians who, we think, are on the rise across several different genres. Spanning from spiked-bat crossover to heavy shoegaze, here are five artists you'll want to get on now.

dead heat PRESS 2 2021, Dead Heat
courtesy of Dead Heat

Dead Heat

RIYL Power Trip, Corrosion of Conformity, Leeway 
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE If you think you've heard all that the crossover genre has to offer, then you haven't heard Dead Heat. The Oxnard, California, band dangle like a lit cigarette between leather jacket thrash and sweatsuit NYHC, churning out blunt-force riffs with a kooky flair that makes their songs ripe for mosh-pit mischief. Their new LP, World at War, is a total barn-burner that's heavier, catchier and wilder than any of their past material. Welcome to the "Age of DH."
QUOTE One glimpse at World at War's brain-splattering artwork tells you all you need to know about Dead Heat's shows. "I saw someone break their humerus bone while stage-diving for us and it definitely put a mental scar in my brain," says frontman Chris Ramos, who claims to have seen Slayer upwards of 20 times. Guitarist Justin Ton recalls a time when a kid threw fireworks at them while they played. "The venue was some small-ass restaurant in Ventura that was super packed-out during our set. One kid threw a firework and it fell on my pedalboard. Shit got me hella heated."

Vexed Andy Ford Chainlink Fence Press 2021, Andy Ford
photograph by Andy Ford


RIYL Thy Art is Murder, Spiritbox, Born of Osiris
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Like many young bands of today, Vexed are a cocktail of sounds. On their debut album, Culling Culture, the U.K. quartet concoct a red-hot mix of deathcore, nu-metalcore and proggy alt-metal — a biting brew containing subterranean djent grooves, riffs that whip like a helicopter propellor, frontwoman Megan Targett's volcanic screams and her equally powerful clean hooks. With heavy parts that are as catchy as the catchy parts are heavy, Vexed make deathcore that's stylish enough for the metalcore kids and metalcore that's ignorantly brutal enough for the deathcore kids.
QUOTE After struggling with her identity and being ruthlessly bullied as a kid, Targett eventually found her calling when she first heard Bring Me the Horizon as a young teen. "Something in me just instantly came alive and I connected with it deeply," the one-time "biggest" BMTH fan tells us. She played in another band before Vexed, but this is the first time she's felt creatively at-home. "Vexed is an unapologetic band that writes music coming from a place of anger." As for Culling Culture, she adds, "We wanted it to be unforgiving and huge — there were no boundaries or rules when it came to writing."

Move BHC 2021 Press Photo
Move BHC

Move BHC

RIYL Incendiary, Stick to Your Guns, Trial
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE "Who do you protect?/What purpose do you serve?" From the very first line on their exceptional 2021 7-inch, Freedom Dreams, Move make it abundantly clear what type of band they are. The Boston hardcore group translate the unfettered anger and intense pain of a fiery Black Lives Matter protest — the boiling point of generations of black oppression — into instantaneous hardcore anthems. Their deeply felt critiques of police brutality, rampant gentrification and unchecked racism are delivered with the urgency of a call to action screamed through a megaphone. Its well-articulated subject matter alone makes Freedom Dreams one of the most essential punk EP's in recent memory, and musically, it's also full of superior hardcore songwriting. 
QUOTE Since their demo dropped in 2020, Move have yet to play a show, but their creative vision is already fully formed. "Black liberation through anti-capitalist, anti-colonial revolution," vocalist Corey Charpentier says of the band's reason to exist. He thinks "Beyond Reform" is the ideal starting point. "That song encapsulates one of our political positions as a band: an unwavering belief in the abolition of the police. While generating a conversation and explaining with depth why the police are incorrigible. Then a beatdown at the end that makes you want to move and do something dangerous."

Cursetheknife Band Press Photo 2021, New Morality Zine
photo courtesy of New Morality Zine


RIYL Deftones, Hum, Nothing 
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Although their no-space moniker has screamo written all over it, Cursetheknife are a self-proclaimed "alternative shoegaze" band from Oklahoma City. The songs on their new compilation album, Thank You for Being Here, released on the hardcore-centric New Mortality Zine label, snake between the noisy bliss of Swirlies, the hypnotic slowcore of Duster, the muscular grunge of the Smashing Pumpkins and the alt-metal stomp of Deftones. With an equal interest in ethereal textures and surging energy, Cursetheknife toe a stardusted line between the utopian beauty of shoegaze and the towering might of metal. 
QUOTE The trio — guitarist Severin Olsen, bassist Branden Palesano drummer Steph Krichena — met the way bands have for decades (through mutual friends), but their influences are a product of this era. "The internet has almost destroyed genres — it's like one just bleeds into the next," Severin says. "I listened to mostly Deftones and Red House Painters during the writing of the album, but I'd say the whole band admires Radiohead," he continues. "I listened to a lot of Guilty of Everything by Nothing and Infinity Girl when we were writing," Branden adds, tapping two essential heavy 'gazers from the 2010s. They're already working on new material, and their mission is this:  "To make as much music as possible before AI starts writing all the hits."

Action News Band Photo 2021
Action News

Action News

RIYL Pure Disgust, Regional Justice Center, the Rival Mob
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Philadelphia's Action News station breaks local stories, but Action News the band are here to break teeth. The Philly "members of" group includes Jesus Piece frontman/Nothing bassist Aaron Heard and a bunch of guys who've played in Drowse, Fixation, Creepoid and more. On their upcoming debut EP, Failed State, the five-piece smush bullet-spraying blasts of powerviolence together with the type of lunging hardcore punk that sounds as animalistic today as it did 40 years ago. It's music that makes you want to chuck a couch down a flight of stairs or tear up a carpet with your bare teeth.
QUOTE "This band was founded on the fact that the world is a terrible place and we want to make it a little better," vocalist Patrick Troxell tells us. "Give you a push to pick up a brick." With a title like Failed State and a band name that's nabbed from a local news station that makes their bag spotlighting violent crime, it's pretty obvious where Action News are coming from. "The lyrics of this record were written and recorded during the social unrest that took over America last year, especially in Philadelphia," Troxell explains of their thematic intentions. "It's fully reflected in our music and lyrics." Their musical goals are less specific. "We just want something fast and pissed off." Sounds about right.