Welcome to Gut Feeling, a newsletter about how musicians found their sound. It’s written by me, Gregory Adams.
Some quick background info: I’m an arts reporter up in Vancouver, B.C., generally publishing artist profiles through a handful of newspapers, magazines, and websites. Some local, some not so local! Mostly hardcore and metal coverage, but not always! Through a mix of luck, hustle, and privilege, I’ve been able to speak with a number of artists about the music they make, and how/why they make it. Inspired by other writers out there, I’m looking forward to bringing stories to Substack, too.
Gut Feeling is in soft-launch mode throughout the fall, but the plan is to self-publish weekly conversations with artists I’m feeling right now. Some may be more direct profiles, while others might be Q+As on the gear that got them through their latest release. I’ll also be doing track reviews, the occasional throwback piece, and more!
Most editions of the newsletter will be free, but I’m looking at some exclusive content for paid subscribers a little further down the line. I’m starting off today by looking at a couple of brain-crushing hardcore cuts, though an interview with one of my favourite local bands pops up by week’s end.
Thanks if you made it this far! Hope you stick around and subscribe.
Zeit “The Sitting Man” (stream on Bandcamp)
There’s no real getting around this, Zeit’s music bears more than a passing resemblance to Converge’s (particularly the hot-rodded, tech-meets-d-beat chaos of the Salem, MA legends’ Axe to Fall period), but damned if they don’t do their seemingly biggest influence justice. The Venice, Italy outfit’s new self-titled LP—their first release in four years— is a towering monolith of modern metalcore meanness. The swinging, detuned gloom of “Love Psalm”, a percussion-less funeral house blues, is the album’s lone reprieve from its barrage of quick shifting licks, popcorn-pop snare assaults, and countless howls from hell. “The Sitting Man” is a particularly frantic banger.
World of Pleasure - World of Pleasure demo (stream on Bandcamp)
Calgary hardcore has been absolutely killing it this year, with World of Pleasure’s three-song debut adding another jewel to the jagged crown of Wild Rose Hardcore. This new project brings together Jess Nyx of Mortality Rate (who themselves just issued a deluxe version of 2016’s Sleep Deprivation) and Colter of Serration (whose Shrine of Consciousness 12” compendium dropped in September), and it finds the pair delivering discordant, domineering beatdown hardcore with a militant, vegan straight-edge perspective. Three songs in just under six minutes, the demo is full of gnarly mosh riffs and moments where Nyx goes to extremes in the name of animal rights (“It’s time for your extermination/Vegan domination”).
Their mascot is an x-ed up version of obscure Disney character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, which is just as cute and juxtapositional a co-sign as My Melody showing up on that Gulch hoodie a while back. Adorable.