If you told me 20 years ago that a post-hardcore band from Beijing, China would sound as big, pummel as hard, and ultimately, show the kind of commanding musicianship as many of their North American counterparts do, I would have told you that you were crazy. But here we are, with Beijing’s Life Awaits and the release of their new video for “Better Now”.
The band recently signed to heavy music label Famined Records, and “Better Now” is their first single for the label. Life Awaits formed in 2015 and released their debut album, Waves, in 2017.
Vocalist Yu talked about the new single, calling it an escape from the inner demons;
“I personally suffered from bipolar disorder for a period of time. So there’s anger in it and there’s also desperation. But most importantly, there is an exit from it all. And we hope the song can reach out to those who have the same problem and can find their own way out.”
I have to admit, it’s a lot better than I could have ever imagined. Growing up in the region (close-ish), the thought of a local band making the same kind of noise as some of the heavyweights was such a far-fetched idea. But the last 20 years have seen so much growth and accessibility to music that would have never gone to the far reaches of the globe. Life Awaits took this opportunity and really hit hard.
Check out the video and single below, and be as impressed as I am by the potential and growth of post-hardcore in China.
Strung Out pull curtain on “Under The Western Sky” video
Strung Out tap David Lynch vibes on new video
In preparation for their new album, Strung Out have released a new song and video. Titled “Under a Western Sky”, the song is the second to be released ahead of their upcoming 9th studio album, Songs of Armor and Devotion. The video was directed by vocalist Jason Cruz who says the video was in tribute to filmmaker David Lynch and one of the central themes of the new album- America;
“Under the Western Sky’ was inspired by the films of David Lynch and my favorite subject: America. I have neither pride nor disdain for the environment I was raised and continue to create in. The things I see and feel are all just colors on a palette to be used any way I see fit.”
The new album is the follow-up to 2015’s Transmission.Alpha.Delta and is due for release August 9th via Fat Wreck. The album is also the first without long time drummer Jordan Burns, who departed the band in 2018. Burns was replaced by Runaway Kids drummer RJ Shankle.
Out of the two songs released thus far, “Under The Western Sky” has us most excited for the new record- all fire and melody; trademark Strung Out.
Strung Out have a North American tour lined up for September through November with The Casualties.
Joywave get Zapruder on new “Like A Kennedy” video
Rochester indie rockers Joywave have unveiled the video for the track “Like a Kennedy”. The video features visual commentary on the current wave of violence, taking on the famous Zapruder video of the Kennedy assassination.
Joywave founder Daniel Armbuster has said that the bands decision regarding the video was very much in tune with today’s political climate; “Nobody is surprised by the violence and no action is taken each time that it occurs. The violence is allowed to just continue and continue and continue. Obviously that is very relevant to where we’re at now. Every time there’s another mass shooting, all these people die, and you know, thoughts and prayers. And nothing changes.“
“Like A Kennedy” is the band’s latest single, their first new material since 2018’s “Blastoffff”. Regarding the song, Armbuster has said the new single is about the endless wave of media and content we are all faced in today’s frenzied landscape of 24 hour news and social. The song is about the exhaustion and burnout;
“It’s an anti-chaos song. Every screen you walk by DEMANDS your attention. Everything is BREAKING NEWS in all caps. It’s a really difficult time to think about the mundane small-scale things that have been the focus of human existence until very recently. I don’t think people should check out, but I think it’s beneficial to at least zoom out and not take the bait every time. It feels like everything is designed to keep us enraged 24 hours a day. We deserve a little sanity.”
We do indeed Daniel. We do indeed.
Joywave last released a full length album, Content, in 2017.