WATCH: HAWXX – ‘Hologram’

Anthemic choruses collide with dystopian wonderings in this high-energy latest single by London-based metal quartet HAWXX

A perfect musical introduction to their upcoming EP You’re Only As Loud As You Shout Right Now, ‘Hologram’ kicks off with a dose of mystical reverb before crashing into hard-hitting drums and spiralling electric riffs. HAWXX’s high-adrenaline vocals veer between classic metal exhilaration and eerie whispers, as the energy builds and builds to plunge back into perfect breakdowns that dance between hazy riffs and punishing bass. Accompanied by a futuristic video drenched in sci-fi glam, the lyrics speak of the menacing future of social media – the dark side to our late-night scrolling habits in search of likes and dopamine hits.

HAWXX explain: “’Hologram’ is a song about the looming dystopia of social media. We curate and self-edit to create well packaged yet hollow versions of ourselves. The entire meaning of identity has shifted. Our relevance and worth depend on numbers and branding. When we are anxious or lonely, we rely on this digital pacifier, this hit of dopamine that has overpowered our human nature. We are the hologram generation.

At least we have the delights of HAWXX to drag us firmly back into the real world with this electrifying slice of metal.

Leonie Bellini

Track Of The Day: Table Scraps – ‘Threads’

Following the savage energy of last year’s ‘Doom Generation’, and having previously wowed crowds at SXSW, Birmingham trio – and GIHE faves – Table Scraps have now announced their new album, set for release in September. Originally conceived as a concept album in 2018, where a band emerges from the rubble of a post-apocalyptic event, after the events of the last couple of years, the doom-filled theme of the collection now seems more resonant than ever before.

Taken from the album, latest single ‘Threads‘ is propelled by a seething energy and gritty, swirling power as ferocious hooks race alongside fierce, thrashing beats. As an immense, impassioned drive builds an eerie sense of impending doom – “united by our gloom / we sense impending doom…” – the track blasts into the ears with a raging, psych-metal spirit, providing a perfectly riotous catharsis. Oozing a poignant sense of urgency, it’s an intense, blazing anthem for these scary times we currently find ourselves in.

‘Threads’ is accompanied by a trippy new lyric video. Watch it now:

Coffin Face, the upcoming new album from Table Scraps, is set for release on 24th September.

Mari Lane

Photo Credit: James Brown

ALBUM: Nova Twins Presents ‘Voices For The Unheard’

A year after the release of their debut album Who Are The Girls?, Nova Twins have returned to share Voices Of The Unheard, a charity compilation LP that’s bursting with righteous energy. Driven by their desire to spotlight the work of underrepresented artists of colour in the heavy music scene, the duo (formed of Amy Love and Georgia South) have put together a blistering collection of alternative anthems that showcase an eclectic, tenacious range of talent.

Following their ‘Voices For The Unheard’ Spotify Playlists, an open letter to the MOBO Awards and their online conversations about racism and sexism in music, Nova Twins naturally gravitated towards curating an album that followed up these narratives. Dr Martens Presents (a multi-disciplinary initiative supporting emerging creative talent) brought their idea of a record to life, providing the funding for the physical release of the compilation on limited edition vinyl via Blood Records. Voices For The Unheard is only available for pre-order until 1st March and all profits will be donated to The Black Curriculum, a charitable initiative working to get black history on the UK school syllabus. It’s a deeply political record in many ways, but it’s also a gargantuan distraction from these important issues too.

Amy & Georgia kick things off with their thunderous single ‘Taxi’, filled with Nova Twins‘ trademark distorted bass lines, jagged riffs and ferocious lyrics. Narrowing the track-list down to twelve must have been tricky, as their stellar Spotify playlists include songs by Ho99o9, Bob Vylan, Sampa The Great and Rico Nasty, but the band have tried to give a platform to artists who are rooted in their underground scenes, whether that’s in the UK or further afield.

‘All My Friends’ by Canadian four-piece The OBGMs is a manic mix of punk and garage rock, followed by the gritty charm of Connie Constance‘s ‘Monty Python’. Her track is probably the quietest on the record, but her skill for subtle song-writing punches just as hard as the the visceral metal & hip hop beats on ‘Cross Me’ by Dallas-based UNITYTX. The track burns with corrosive fury, the final lyric “This is rock music motherfucker!” epitomising what Voices Of The Unheard is all about.

The thumping beats and pulverizing synths on ‘Goatmeal’ by New Yorker LustSickPuppy and the intense punk & rap cacophony ‘Scared’ by duo Death Tour both blitz by in under two minutes. Guttural groans, strung out vocals and feverish riffs fuel ‘Aggressive Evolution’ by Liverpool-based Loathe, and their fury is matched by the genre-defying sounds of ‘Green Vision’ by New Yorkers Oxymorrons, who dominate the ear drums from start to finish.

Brit trio Pussycat and The Dirty Johnsons keep things rolling with their classic rock rhythms on ‘Ain’t No Pussy’, followed by the dense beats and incredible vocals on ‘Trouble’ by North Carolina-based queer/trans artist Khx05, who impresses more each time they’re listened to. Washington rapper Zhariah mixes glitchy beats and candid lyrics on the biting ‘Bitch Boy’ before the infectious rhythms of black feminist punk trio Big Joanie bookend this eclectic mix of rap, rock, punk, metal and electronic music. We’ve waxed lyrical about how much we love Big Joanie before on GIHE, and the infectious rhythms on their Hermitage Works live rendition of ‘Fall Asleep’ still have us chanting the chorus in unison every time.

Listening to Voices for the Unheard should rile you up and re-energise your appetite for heavy music. The album showcases a group of artists who have been galvanized by their individual experiences of discrimination, but who are now united in their attempts to create the authentic, exciting music they wish they had heard growing up. Nova Twins’ battle cry for equality and diversity was loud and clear on Who Are The Girls?, but it’s echoed long after the record’s release. The duo are a force for fun, for fury, and most importantly: for change in an industry that is still dominated by white faces.

You can choose to be part of the solution and help to change this by listening to Voices for the Unheard, following the artists on the track-list and continuing to share the conversations that initially fueled the record’s development.

Pre-order your copy of Voices for the Unheard here.

Click on the name of each artist/band to head to their individual Spotify pages.

Kate Crudgington

LISTEN: Spiritbox – ‘Blessed Be’

Self described with their tongue placed firmly in cheek as “spooky-scary, but also artsy-fartsy”, Spiritbox was formed by Courtney LaPlante and Michael Stringer to avoid stagnating creatively within their former band, the Louisiana metalcore five-piece, iwrestledabearonce.

Joined by Bill Crook, Spiritbox followed their impressive 2019 EP Singles Collection with the release of ‘Rule of Nines’ late last year; a song that was nothing less than an assault on the senses. Now, the Canadian trio have taken on a more melodic approach on their latest single, ‘Blessed Be’, but that familiar darkness still lingers… “Offer me / I have the heart of a coward…”

From the ethereal, palm-muted guitar soundscape to LaPlante’s brooding vocalisation – alternating between a layered wall of sound consisting entirely of LaPlante’s layered harmonization and her head-banging guttural growl – ‘Blessed Be’ hooks you in with its whiplash-inducing groove. It is the track’s reflection on relationships however, that has us looking inwards; analysing our own insecurities. “Serotonin like a loaded gun / I am a coward, you pull me up / into a place where there’s nothing that’s left for me / But insecurity.”

Once the bridge leads into the skull-crushing breakdown, Spiritbox have decimated the scene, conjuring an infectious combination of electronic instrumentation and progressive – almost mechanical – djent-inspired guitar riffs. LaPlante admirably shreds her vocals during this emotional climax – alternating between beautiful melodies and aggressive vitriol – reaffirming why Spiritbox are one of the most exciting progressive metal bands emerging from the underground.

Spiritbox are have recently toured Europe with After the Burial, Make Them Suffer and Polar on the Behold the Crown Tour (which sadly had to be cut short).

Ken Wynne