LIFES hit incredibly hard. Their music feels like a grip in the physical throes of emotionally-based turmoil and like falling down a pit lined with some unseen but not unheard creatures. Get the first taste of the Milwaukee band’s debut full-length album streaming exclusively below. The record drops June 28 via Middle Man Records, with additional support from Triple Eye Industries, Knochen Tapes, and Here and Now! Records. Shane Hochstetler of Howl Street Recordings engineered and mixed the inescapably impressive record.
The band utilize a unique approach to the “heaviness” side of their craft, indulging in chaos as much as they aim for breakdowns or super speedy riffs. They don’t even have a guitarist, and yet there’s never a sense of lack. Bassist/vocalist Dave Rudnik and drummer/vocalist Zak Holochwost make up the band, having long been involved in underground music including the bands Seven Days of Samsara, Kung Fu Rick, People Again, and Conquest for Death.
LIFES tie the elements that they do present together in what remarkably turns into a forceful story of climbing some foreboding mountain of pain. Their heaviness is experiential — they don’t sound like they’re trying to bring attention to themselves as much as they’re working to crystallize their vision of heavy, pounding chaos, letting their music blossom on its own into some deeply intriguing and affecting ghastly beast. Their music feels like an expression of the thunderstorm raining down in the neighborhood that’s been forgotten by higher-ups and passed over for development opportunities; it’s the heavy music of the people, getting straight to the point. Many of Treading Water‘s 18 songs don’t even crack the three minute mark — and yet, within those comparatively brief confines, the band deliver an inescapably thick dose of mayhem that’s been turned into a powerful rallying cry.
As for the track featured below in particular — “Bitter Cold” first emerged in recorded form back in 2014 on a Midwest hardcore music compilation released by Diseased Audio. The present version is different, however, including via a longer ending. It’s an epic and furious meltdown that features samples from a National Weather Service Blizzard Warning alert that add to the welcome deeply unsettling, boundary-breaking nature of the track. It’s a powerful infusion of focused anger straight into the bloodstream. There’s something inescapably gripping about that repeatedly screamed deranged refrain: “Behold! The bitter cold!”
Catch the band on tour:
Friday, April 12 – Portland, OR @ Core House w/ Deadwitch, Agricultural Development, Foil & Martian ChurchSaturday, April 13 – Seattle, WA @ the Vera Project w/ pageninetynine, Majority Rule & Portrayal of GuiltSunday, April 14 – Vancouver, BC @ Alf House w/ Rhyolite, Androgyne & Split Open