Here at Revolver, we're always on the hunt for new songs to bang our heads to — indeed, it's a big part of our jobs. With that in mind, here are the tracks released this week in sludge-metal, shoegaze, metalcore and more that have been on heavy rotation at Revolver HQ. For your listening pleasure, we've also compiled the songs in an ever-evolving Spotify playlist.
Pike vs. the Automaton - "Alien Slut Mum"
Whether in the red-eyed lurches of Sleep or the craggy mountainscapes of High on Fire, Matt Pike has always made music that sounds battered and well-worn, and his new solo project is no different. His first offering as Pike vs. the Automaton is wicked, wart-covered sludge that careens like a steam engine trying to outrun a gang of horse-bound bandits. It's pure Pike-core, but the man has never sounded this energized.
Higher Power - "Fall From Grace"
When Higher Power showed how triumphantly catchy they could sound on 2020's 27 Miles Underwater — and it resonated with fans — we knew they weren't going back to their heavier hardcore beginnings. "Fall From Grace" injects their Quicksand-y bounce and Glassjaw-y hooks with a heavy dose of early 2000s emo, and it sounds like a world where Deftones grew up on My Chemical Romance. Save for a few screamo shrieks, Jimmy Wizard's voice is nasally and sharp, while the plunging guitar riffs provide the icy-hot contrast that gives Higher Power their holy touch.
Nothing - "This Man's Gift" (Feat. Midwife)
Nothing have been fascinated with negative space lately. On the band's 2020 opus, The Great Dismal, its B-sides and now this one-off single with "heaven metal" seamstress Midwife, the Philadelphia band vacuum up their cluttered fuzz and drape the cavernous chambers with petite reverse-reverb streaks, trip-hop drums that prance from one side of the mix to the other, and vocals that waft upward like incense smoke that disappears before it hits the ceiling.
Memphis May Fire - "Left for Dead"
Memphis May Fire are at their best when they sound like they laid down their tracks while still feeling the burning rage after a fierce confrontation. "Left for Dead" has a groove that wobbles like furniture in an earthquake and one of Matty Mullins' many snappy hooks that he delivers with the cool-guy swiftness of telling someone to eat shit, flicking a cigarette in their direction and strutting off.
Life's Question - "A Prayer for My Old Man"
It would've been reasonable to assume that the style would take a few years to cool after Power Trip's cord was tragically cut in summer 2020, but instead, 2021 has yielded a huge bounty of bands who are here to fill the crossover thrash void they left behind. Similar to peers like Ekulu and Dead Heat, Chicago's Life's Question make physically spry hardcore with a shreddy, metallic bite, and this cut from their new promo tape wows you with some flash and then elbows you in the chin with unexpected two-step chugs.