Philadelphia's Varials practice a kinetic, start-stop version of half-speed hardcore à la Helmet, all open drum sections and clanking rhythms. Between these percussive peaks lie a valley of chugga-chugga riffs, tons of discordant guitar tones and scream-along invectives like "Misery!" and "I hope you rot, motherfucker!" Subtlety is not their strong suit — but then again, hardcore has never been known for its subtlety.
Featured on Varials' latest album, last year's Pain Again, "Empire of Dirt" is a teeth-clenching, half-speed ripper featuring a searing vocal assist from Bryan Garris of Kentucky crushers Knocked Loose. The accompany visual, directed by Max More (Code Orange, Of Mice & Men), resembles a sinister version of Coldplay's "The Scientist" video, chronicling an arson that unfolds in reverse.
"'Empire of Dirt' is 100 percent centered around the idea of seeing the people born into the luck of having a constantly upward lifestyle, and realizing that all I am is the king of fucking rats," Varials vocalist Travis Tabron remarks of the track. "The king of dirt, the king of fools — take your pick. Even when I feel at the top of the world, it's actually just the tiniest bit higher than the ground. Lyrically, it's the fucking lowest point on the record."
Varials are currently touring in support of the record alongside Emmure, Counterparts and King 810 through the end of May. Read on for the tour dates.
Varials tour dates:
May 10 — Amityville, NY — Revolution
May 11 — Philadelphia, PA — The TLA
May 12 — Worcester, MA — The Palladium
May 13 — New York, NY — Gramercy Theatre
May 15 — Baltimore, MD — Baltimore Soundstage
May 16 — Pittsburgh, PA — Rex Theater
May 16 — Grand Rapids, MI — The Intersection
May 18 — Chicago, IL — Bottom Lounge
May 20 — Buffalo, NY — Town Ballroom
May 22 — Montreal, Québec — Fairmount Theatre
May 23 — Toronto, Ontario — Mod Club
May 24 — London, England — London Music Hall
May 25 — Detroit, MI — St. Andrew's Hall
May 26 — Saint Louis, MO — Delmar Hall