All posts by Natasha Van Duser

First Round of House Show Bands Announced!

August 20th marks the date of the second HXC Mag house show series! That’s right, we’re turning our makeshift venue, The Albatross Den, into a full-fledged musical Mecca and now it’s time for our first round of band announcements. Say hello to Pulling Punches, Hollow Bones and To Live As Wolves! With more bands to come, stay on the lookout!

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It’s House Show Season!

Friends, rockers, countrymen: lend me your ears! It’s time for a house show.

That’s right! This August, HXC Mag will be throwing its second house show at the Albatross Den in Pompton Lakes, NJ. The line up will be announced shortly and the search for local unsigned bands to play the show is still going strong! Keep on the look out for more info to come, but mark your dates for August 20, 2016 and get ready to mosh!

Love,

The HXC Mag Team

hxc house show banner

Record Reviews in Haiku (Part 1)

Nothing is better,
Than finding creative ways,
To write new reviews.

So at HXC,
We have decided to do,
Reviews in haiku.

Continue reading Record Reviews in Haiku (Part 1)

Video Premiere: PVRIS “Smoke”

PVRIS is arguably one of the biggest newcomer bands in the scene right now, and it seems that their success came almost out of nowhere the second they dropped their debut record White Noise. I say “almost out of nowhere” not because it’s undeserved fame, but because releasing a debut record through a non-major label (Rise Records) and blowing up in both the set scene as well as making massive strides in the mainstream is practically unheard of. Even in the hipster nation, Bon Iver didn’t get the credit fans felt he deserved until his third full-length (which ironically only won him a Grammy for “Best New Artist”), but one album in and PVRIS is already gracing the cover of Alternative Press.

Continue reading Video Premiere: PVRIS “Smoke”

Need-To-Know: The White Noise

Sometimes a band is just that good that their traction picks up like Speed Racer in The Mach 5. While The White Noise has only been a band since the summer of 2015, they have already signed to Fearless Records and booked a tour as support for Get Scared, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! and I See Stars this February. So how do you go from fledgling beginnings to booking a label tour? You have something to offer to the industry.

Continue reading Need-To-Know: The White Noise

Asking Alexandria Release New Music Video ‘The Black;’ Obvi Still Bitter at The Snop

While former vocalist Danny Worsnop gets his shit together running around the streets of LA looking more or less like a lost and deranged homeless man, as online sources and IG accounts have claimed, his former bandmates in Asking Alexandria push forward with their newest vocalist Denis Stoff.  Today, via Sumerian Records YouTube account, the five piece dropped their latest video for “The Black” off of their upcoming record of the same name.

Continue reading Asking Alexandria Release New Music Video ‘The Black;’ Obvi Still Bitter at The Snop

Need-To-Know: Creeper

Sometimes bands come along that take you by surprise for resurfacing a sound that really hasn’t been relevant since Morrissey’s face could be purchased un-ironically on a T-shirt. Creeper,  the latest band from the UK that you probably don’t know about but 100% should, creates that old school sound in a brand new light. With a real gritty, grungy rock ‘n’ roll vibe reminiscent of bands like Green Day, The Smiths, and My Chemical Romance among many others, comes this little known six-piece to break the waves.

Continue reading Need-To-Know: Creeper

Live Review: The Amity Affliction at Irving Plaza 10.23.15

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Photo by Justin LaMot

A show like this can only be described in one word, and that is “phenomenal.” The lineup was diverse, yet also appealing as all the bands fit perfectly together despite their differences in sound and genre. These bands included The Plot In You, Cruel Hand, Secrets, Chelsea Grin and, of course, The Amity Affliction. Ranging from hardcore to metalcore and even deathcore, this show was entertaining throughout every set played.

Unfortunately I missed the opening band, The Plot In You, but talking with some fans and other concert goers I gathered their performance was nothing less than amazing. Although many said that TPIY’s set was way too short and wish they were able to play more, I spoke with Landon Tewers (vocalist) and discussed news of a headlining tour that will be announced soon! So don’t worry, their longer sets will come. Following them was Cruel Hand. I felt as if I was thrown back into 2007 listening to hardcore music while being angsty in high school. I mean that in every positive way. Cruel Hand had an old school hardcore vibe yet one that still fits in today’s scene. Definitely a blast from the past, yet a pleasant one!

Photo via Justin LaMot
Justin LaMot with The Plot In You

Next up was Secrets, who follow a similar pattern and style to other bands in the metalcore genre, but they nailed their performance. The crowd went wild and it was definitely one to remember. With a new album coming out in December (Everything That Got Us Here), they definitely gained many fans and followers with their set. Whether it was the powerful screams or pleasant cleans, the balance seemed just right. But when it comes to deathcore, Alex Koehler of Chelsea Grin knows just the perfect balance between lows and highs. CG destroyed with their set and the pit went berserk. The idly standing viewers in Irving Plaza quickly transformed into an ocean of destruction. It was an incredible sight to not only witness, but to also be part of. They definitely paved the way for The Amity Affliction by getting us all pumped with classic and new Grin songs, even covering Korn’s “Right Now,” which got plenty of love from the fans.

It was the set everyone had been waiting for as the whole venue filled to the brim–in terms of capacity and excitement–as The Amity Affliction took the stage. The crowd constantly sung along while the vocals switched between Joel Birch’s piercing screams and Ahren Stringer’s cleans. It was a perfect set covering old and new songs, yet no matter what was played the crowd remained in harmony with each other and the band throughout. The Amity Affliction showed us why they deserved their position as the headlining band. Overall, the concert was an incredible experience and one to look back on in hopes that the next show attended will be just as amazing, yet will probably be hard to top. But for now, we will dwell on our smartphone videos and pictures reminiscing on how great The Amity Affliction was until they return back to the U.S.

By Justin LaMot

Record Review: Defeater – ‘Abandoned’

Defeater

I have never heard a sadder hardcore album than Defeater’s Abandoned. Derek Archambault’s voice is a haunting, screaming whisper reminding us of our imperfections and flaws. The record encompasses nearly the entire spectrum of sadness and guilt. Abandoned is told from the point of view of a priest who knows the family from the band’s first three full-lengths. He is destitute with his guilt and it’s eating him from the inside out.

Defeater have taken a softer approach with their instrumentals on Abandoned. The drums are slower than in previous work, and the guitars often play quietly and sometimes stop all together. This record is about the lyrics, which separates this band from its hardcore contemporaries.

“I was a good man once,” resonates with you even after “Unanswered” has finished playing. This admission of downfall is prevalent in every song. At first, the priest’s fall from grace can be attributed to the war, but it seems unclear if the war ruined him or if it is simply the fallibility of human nature. The record goes through his various sins (as he sees it) and his anger at a God wholly missing from his life. He’s stuck in a cycle of hope for an answer from God and denial of God with its accompanying suffering.

“Spared in Hell” reveals that the priest’s near death experience in the war and the chaplain’s sacrifice to save him led him to the priesthood, but the horrors he witnessed led him to the bottle.

“Since I was spared in hell I repay the old chaplain that saved me.
I spend my days with the good book,
Follow every chapter, prayer, and verse.
I spend my nights with my vices
Just to find some proof in the words.”

“December 1943” is about the inhumanity he experienced while serving during the war. He wants to remember, but all he can conjure up are half memories and pain.

“I can’t remember
Each time it slipped right through my fingers.
The eyes and faces of my brothers,
They never made it back home to their mothers.”

“Borrowed and Blue” is remorseful, but it isn’t angry or directed at God. It’s a nostalgic love song for a woman he once had in his life. The priest is only a man, after all.

“I maybe a sinner,
Forsaken and damned,
Selfish with pride for the touch of her hand.”

There are no better story tellers in hardcore today than Defeater. I can’t imagine what the origin of this kind of life consuming, gut-wrenching story is, but with Abandoned Defeater have created a masterpiece of dark, solitary anguish.
By David Marulanda
Four Star Rating