A Tiger Made of Lightning – “Little Birds”: If you know anything about Tuned Up, you know we’re suckers for good old-fashioned wholesome content. And that’s exactly what Mike O’Leary of A Tiger Made of Lightning accomplished with the single and accompanying music video for a pop-punk banger that is a tribute from a dad to his daughters. O’Leary is outspoken about many things, but here he’s out to tell everyone what matters most. I hope he breaks out this song at their high school graduation and makes everyone throw down in the pit. I’m not enough of a pop-punk expert to draw comparisons, but these riffs will tug at the heartstrings.
WORDS – “Automation”: Holy guitar tapping, Batman! Fans of Circa Survive and all things post hardcore and prog rock will probably find things to enjoy about this single from the Dallas, TX outfit. While not as immediately anthemic as, say, “Consume” or “Sleep” WORDS still seeks to melt faces, and I doubt that will change anytime soon. Honey Gold Records is a label imprint to be taken seriously, and we can’t emphasize that enough.
Our Last Night and Sam Tinnesz – “Hell to Have You”: Metalcore masters link up with cinematic pop master Sam Tinnesz for an unexpected but entirely appropriate collaboration in “Hell to Have You.” Tinnesz adds a polished, classy demeanor to the hook, subverting the metalcore stereotype that clean vocals must be shrill and whiny. Having sat here for awhile in silence after one listen, I can confirm this jam is an earworm and stuck in my head.
Traverse the Abyss – “Only Human”: Remember the band Inhale Exhale from mid-2000s Solid State Records? “Only Human” is wholesome and brutal kind of like that band was. I am also reminded a bit of August Burns Red’s “Your Little Suburbia Is In Ruins.” This is brutal nostalgia at its most catchy. The Scranton, PA–based act seeks to uplift and provoke thought with a sound that traverses metal genres (pun intended).
Rival Karma – “Honey!”: I listened to this because I had find out for myself what “ninja rock” sounded like, and I suspect you will too. In spite of the sad lyrics, the song is pretty darn infectious. Though, I’m not sure how the ninja moniker applies. Maybe it’s because the big sound sneaks up on you a bit? This feels like a lovechild of Foo Fighters and Royal Blood. Alright, I can dig it, even if I’m a little confused still.