Throughout popular culture the side piece has always been mused at as two things. It’s either that sassy secret that keeps blowing up your phone when you’re with your main piece, or it’s the ultimate hipster trading card in a deck of ‘look how much I know about your favourite band, but still obscure enough to be an individual with that 1/10 casette tape’.
“look how much I know about your favourite band, but still obscure enough to be an individual with that 1/10 casette tape…”
Anyway, relationship flares and indie kid trading cards aside, side projects, no matter how diverse or obscure in comparison to their counterpart, have not been a secret or taboo for some time now. Sure some may fly under the SoundCloud and 3am Bandcamp discoveries, but as music becomes more and more accessible in the digital age, and with music production itself also becoming more accessible, it seems that music well and truly has become limitless.
So if you’re down for taking the path less travelled when it comes to some of your favourite artists, then here’s where you need to start with your new musical discoveries.
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS
SIDE PIECE OF: COMEBACK KID | FOR FANS OF: THRICE
Whilst the godfathers of modern hardcore that are Comeback Kid have once more been blowing up our side of the planet with an incendiary of hard-hitting hardcore festival sets this past month, let’s take it back to the roots. In 2006 now Comeback Kid vocalist Andrew Neufeld found himself taking a more ferocious vocal root when stepping in to front the hardcore outfit, however taking influences from some of his favourite bands such as Jimmy Eat World, Andrew and his brothers have, and are still continuing to put together a soundscape of beautifully experimental, melodic and anthemic textured sounds. With having now opened for the likes of Bring Me The Horizon, and with new material underway, this is one of the MAIN side pieces to be making room for this year.
SIDE PIECE OF: THE STORY SO FAR | FOR FANS OF: IGNITE
Parker Canon of The Story So Far’s brainchild, Snarl has a real nostalgic feel to their sound whilst blowing you away with their sheer speed. With an EP and a split with Power Wrench and Spitback under their belts, their material still doesn’t last longer than 10 minutes. Sure, Snarl is hardcore done fast, but it’s not rushed and is executed brilliantly.
SIDE PIECE OF: AMERICAN FOOTBALL | FOR FANS OF: BON IVER
Sure we may have had to wait a decade between the first two cult emo records from American Football, but it seems that vocalist Mike Kinsela had been keeping busy, as in a mammoth nine releases busy. A collection acoustic chills with twinkling renditions of bands such as Against Me! Also thrown into the mix on his Other People’s Songs release, the unanimously named project has birthed an acoustic dream that would even make Bon Iver jealous, all the while remaining a well kept secret for both emo and American Football fans to fall in love with upon discovery.
SIDE PIECE OF: DEAD SWANS, DEFEATER | FOR FANS OF: DEFTONES
Whilst the two hardcore hitters have been causing levels of sonic destruction across Europe recently, sometimes the down time on tour gives you more than just an opportunity to explore the cities surrounding you. A heavy blend of post hardcore and an experimental left turn into the world of atmospheric rock, Night Letters is a monochrome romanticism of heavy music to be enjoyed on full volume alone.
SIDE PIECE OF: CODE ORANGE | FOR FANS OF: TURNOVER, TIGERS JAW
Whilst we now know the vocal tones of Reba Meyers to be the cause of mass venue destruction in the ground stomping, metal heavyweights Code Orange, Adventures is a surprisingly pleasant, and at times wholesome counter opposite. The well named ‘Supersonic Home’ does everything it says on the tin. It’s a deliverance of nostalgia tinged indie pop worthy of any bedroom sing along routine.
SIDE PIECE OF: COUNTERPARTS | FOR FANS OF: KUBLAI KHAN, SWORN IN
If you were to look into the musical history so far of Counterparts’ guitarist Blake Hardman, you’d be sure to find an eclectic back catalogue of every variant of hardcore. However his newer project Condone is a fresh step away from the riffs and into the vocal zone for Hardman. Burrowing himself into the new roots of the heavy Nashville scene, Condone is an intensifying ride of straight up fist clenching heavy hardcore that is going to have some wondrously devastating effects on your emotions and ear drums.
SIDE PIECE OF: TITLE FIGHT | FOR FANS OF: PALE WAVES, JOY DIVISION
Look you’re not getting a Title Fight reunion anytime soon, but you can still be charmed by the vocals of Ned Russin in a 70s disco meets lo-fi kinda modern take on Joy Division kinda way. A futuristic take of a sound that belongs to the era of technicolour VHS videos, Glitterer creates a sound that wouldn’t feel out of place in The Breakfast Club or any other 80s American drama’s credit scene.
SIDE PIECE OF: STRAY FROM THE PATH, STICK TO YOUR GUNS | FOR FANS OF: QUICKSAND, CITY & COLOUR
If library music was to meet the rousing upbeat of more recent City & Colour, whilst being surrounded by an electrifying totality of sounds from across the board, then you’d have the sunset soundtrack that is Trade Wind. Having just released their second record in the form of the beautifully crafted Certain Freedoms, Jesse Barnett releases a slower and less strenuous tone that is simply blissful, yet emotionally provocative.
SIDE PIECE OF: COUNTERPARTS (AGAIN), FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY, MISERY SIGNALS, REIGN SUPREME, SHAI HULUD | FOR FANS OF: NAILS, VEIN
Yeah, the credit list on this one is longer than that at the end of a Star Wars movie… But of course, when you get the super powers of heavy hardcore all in one room it goes far beyond just another heavy hardcore record, and forms, in many ways, a new blistering genre of ‘how loud can I play this until I’m deafened’ noise. The ULTIMATE band for the ULTIMATE power lifting session, ventilation, and all fury driven activity lies in the form of End. Approach with caution.