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International Hardcore Bands You Need to Know About: Brainwave

Photo: Amanda Hailwood

"The band that would later become Brainwave had long been brewing away before I joined," says Joram Adams, one-half of the guitar team in Brainwave, a hardcore band from New Zealand  "It wasn’t until late 2019 when I responded to [vocalist] Rob’s [Thompson] Facebook post inquiring about guitarists and bassists who might be keen to join the act that I stepped onto the scene.

"There were others who had shown interest but both life and geography made those commitments too difficult. The most difficult stage of the band's formation was giving it an identity in the form of a name. It was a frustrating process that had been going on long before I joined and continued for months after. [Laughs] If you ever want to know what we were almost called you’ll have to beg Rob for his hyper-detailed spreadsheet of band names."

Brainwave is on No Echo's map thanks to their recently released EP, The Decline:

"I think we’re all collectively trying to write towards the crossover thrash sound," Joram tells No Echo via email. "We're drawing from bands like Power Trip, No Warning, Iron Age, Mindforce, Eternal Champion, Enforced, etc. Having all played in various other bands and genres before, we all bring our own experience and influence which will ultimately shape the band's evolution as it goes on." 

The guitarist gives us some background on Brainwaves' new record. "The Decline was primarily written by [guitarist] Connor [Shaw] and Rob before I joined the band. A number of the original tracks were stripped back to one riff and then re-written from there trying to find the right sound.

"Hardcore music is full of breakdowns and can often fall into a very predictable formula and though we all love a good breakdown, we’re all inspired to try and write fierce and heavy music that doesn’t rely on breakdowns to fulfill that criteria."

Photo: Amanda Hailwood

No Echo asks Joram for his thoughts on the current hardcore scene in New Zealand: "NZHC has gone through a lot of changes over the years I’ve been involved. When I started going to shows in 2012, there were a lot of veteran bands who would draw crowds and inspire new acts to rise up but over the years we’ve seen the disbanding of most of those leading acts. Followed by the closing of many of the venues around the country due to various reasons, the NZHC scene has been hurting.

"But in the last couple years, there has been an uprising from Wellington, featuring bands like ColdxWar, Severed Beliefs, and Happy Valley, as well as DIY label Elimination Records. These acts are pushing the genre and taking the scene to new heights which is super cool to see."

Photo: Amanda Hailwood

Joram also wants to include the following thoughts with our readership: "Hardcore has been and probably always will be a fringe community for broken and hurt people desperate for change or at the least companionship through the struggles and I think we often forget that. We get so caught up in entitlement and elitism that we don’t see people complexly. We see others as their mistakes whilst ignoring our own shortcomings.

"In a world full of so many problems hardcore offered me a community of people who were about solutions but those actions take the effort of everyone involved so it bums me out when I see a potentially great scene destroying itself internally with stupid beef and arrogance so I hope we can all rise above that and make incredible music."

The Decline is out now via Elimination Records.

Brainwave on social media: Facebook | Instagram

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Tagged: brainwave, international hardcore bands

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