Picks: Animal Flag, Wearing Thin, Not My Master

After last week’s outright aggression we’ve got some new recommendations this week that are a little slower and more introspective. Not all of them, mind. If it’s harsh you want then the self-titled new record from Jungle Rot might scratch the itch.

Animal Flag
Void Ripper
Triple Crown Records
[Spotify]

Alternative rock relies on emotional truth. By comparison with the heavier stuff, its stripped back style leaves a need to be raw, to be real, and to be creatively compelling. Miss the mark, it’s a dirge. But get it right and you’ve got Void Ripper, the new album by Boston’s Animal Flag. Like the best of their peers, Animal Flag don’t shy away from biting guitars; this ain’t no indie record. The songwriting skills are off the charts, the bounce is irresistible and that emotional authenticity is ever-present. A terrific album.

Wearing Thin
More Than Just A Frame
Tragic Hero Records
[Spotify]

More Than Just A Frame is the debut album by Salt Lake City post-hardcore duo Wearing Thin. It shares ingredients with Animal Flag but the recipe is different. This has a little more hardcore, not least in its vocal delivery, but we reckon if you can get into one then you’ll get into the other too. The band might disagree but this is less a combination of leading tracks and future deep cuts, more a mood piece weaved through and between moments. Either way, it’s engaging.

Not My Master
Disobey
Extreme Metal Music
[Spotify]

And now for something completely different. Technically an EP, Disobey is as long as this week’s other two Picks but that’s where the similarity ends. Not My Master are a four-piece from El Paso and their shit is ugly as hell. This is dirty, low-down, sludgy, stompy, riffy, sinister, imposing metal. It’s music to bang your head to, only interspersed with a bunch of little and not-so-little Alice In Chains flourishes that work so seamlessly that the result is a thrilling record that’s heavy in more ways than one.

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