Latch: Eastern Mass Hardcore Band Leans Into Their Punk Side on Trapped in This Flesh EP

Photo: Carolyn Valdivieso

If you’ve read enough of my rants on here you’ll know I’m an old-school hardcore kid. I’m drawn to anything that still clings to those precious punk roots even if I think a lot of that is corny nowadays. Some bands lean a little too heavy into their punk side and don’t give the audience enough to actually dance to, but that’s not the case with Latch.

The Boston began when brothers Cam and Mitch—who have played music together for years—met up with guitarist Kaden and began writing songs together. A long time had passed before the members discovered vocalist Travis through a Craigslist ad the band had posted and he decided to join. The singer's style injected a renewed rage in Latch's sound as his vocals fit their punk side more.

Having honed his style playing in heavier bands like Sick Minds and Rat Trap, Travis’ distinct vocals dance around the buzzing guitar riffs as the band switches between quick mosh parts and faster moments. His voice keeps them in their punk lane but also pushes them into the hardcore territory as he’s been conditioned in.

Previously featured on No Echo via a New Hardcore Band Spotlight, Latch have been influenced by the likes of SPY, Gumm, and Gouge Away. The group released their debut demo cassette back in September and played their first show a couple weeks prior opening for their friends in Court Date and The Greying. They’ve been steadily knocking shows out around the New England area since then, playing alongside such bands as Gumskab, Alley Trash, and Sophisticated Adult. 

Speaking on one of their best shows, Travis states, "One of the best memories I have is playing with Gumskab, Alley Trash, Sophisticated Adult, and Gasoline Dream up in Maine. We didn’t fit the bill super well, but everyone was nice as hell and the crowd ruled.” The videos from their set show one of the best reactions I’ve seen the band receive as the kids in Maine laid waste to the venue.

After releasing their demo, Latch recorded their recently released follow-up EP, Trapped in This Flesh, at their own studio in Mitch’s house. “Writing the music is always a very collaborative process where Cam, Kaden, and I all write riffs and songs, bring them to the band, and work on them together," Mitch explains. 

"Some of the music for songs on our new EP had already been either partially or completely written at the time the demo had been released. The music for our first demo had already been recorded before Travis joined and added lyrics and vocals to those songs.”

Guitarist Kaden jumps into the conversation: “I feel like this EP is an expansion on the first one. While still feeling similar stylistically, it feels like a step forward as well. We approached Trapped in This Flesh more as a whole rather than the first one that was just our first few songs, that we added Travis on to later.

"This EP we were able to work on as a complete piece, and think about song order, flow, transitions, etc ahead of time which made recording run a lot smoother, but also makes for an EP that feels intentional and cohesive."

READ MORE: World I Hate: Six Records That Influenced Our Band

Photo: Carolyn Valdivieso

On Trapped in This Flesh, the guitars still sound like an agitated beehive, Travis’ vocals bite as hard as his previous performance, and the band sounds tighter than ever before. What keeps you listening is how Latch layer their songs with unique rhythmic changes to get the room moving. As much as I love the punk side of hardcore, a lot of bands neglect the crowd by creating too many straightforward tracks. With songs like “Bootlicker” (their longest track to date) Latch layer things out with some mosh in the mix.

The following track, “Separation,” displays a similar sound to their demo, erupting with buzzing guitars and Travis’ embittered lyrics on a failed relationship. Filled with opportunities for two-steps and side-to-side riffs, it shows that Latch has already perfected their stylistic blueprint.

Speaking on his lyrics, Travis admits that while his previous topics of self-hatred still work well for him he looks to expand his form with Latch. “While I’m absolutely still motivated by self-hatred, I am attempting to touch on a deeper array of topics. That being said, the EP itself is named after the feeling of being trapped in this flesh and unable to beat the fear of death which is constantly swinging above our heads."

Travis talks about some future Latch plans: “We’ve got some absolutely great gigs lined up, including opening for Ringworm in Providence, Rhode Island. Our plan is to try to run a weekend or two out this Summer while also working towards recording a few more tracks for a future split.” They’ve certainly got enough material for a good run of shows this year. 

So for now, be on the lookout for any updates from Latch on their social media, they’re already on a hot streak this year so 2024 is gonna be an exciting one for this band. 

Latch would like to shout out: "Everyone that’s checked out the demo or seen us play, Gumskab, The Greying, and Derrick Darmody for always getting us onto shows, introducing us to new people, and giving solid feedback which we can learn from. Kaden’s wife Carolyn for helping us sell merch and being the official Latch photographer at all of our shows. Lastly, Matt Lamoureux, the Latch superfan.

“A good guy who eats crayons” - Travis

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