Anyone missing Dillinger Escape Plan after they disconnected their ping-ponging, ill-angled math machine hasn’t needed too much time to catch their breath. Michigan weirdos the Armed and Pittsburgh bludgeoneers Code Orange have gotten critical accolades for their try-anything approaches to art-hardcore. If you’re into tricky time-signatures, there’s new records that run from the savage (Boston’s Vein), to the post-rock-y cinematic (England’s Rolo Tomassi) to proggy (two new records from Between the Buried and Me).
But when it comes to possibly upping the ante, few come harsher than Scotland’s Frontierer. On Unloved, their second album – and first with a drummer – they favor a dirty, blown-out production and guitar squiggles that sound like Melt Banana’s laser noises. Second track “Gower St.” is absolutely bonkers, complete with hailstorm rhythms, a physical chorus (“We go in! We go down! We go inside!”) and a bridge(?) where a whammy solo sounds like drills powering up.
“I randomized the riff around one [minute] in with a beat generator tool and then learned it on guitar,” Frontierer guitarist Pedram Valiani tells Rolling Stone about “Gower St.’s” weaponized pinball machine rhythms. “Fun fact: When I record with my Whammy Ricochet I wear beach flip-flops for the toggle switches – it gets sore!”