For any of our esteemed readers who are not aware, I am from Las Vegas. For a long time, the Vegas hardcore scene has been regarded as the home of second-rate bands and violent kids who overcompensate for not living in Reno or Salt Lake City by beating fools at shows. When I was in high school, two of my friends in the scene were shot and countless more had their faces beaten in. Part of this has to do with the culture of the city, which is starkly segregated by class and can be fit neatly into four boxes: rich kids who live in borderline mansions and often pretend to be into hood rat shit for the clout; the glitz and filth of downtown and the Strip; the oppressive poverty and violence of D Street, West Side, North Town, and the particularly bleak stretch surrounding the university; and the in-betweeners on the south side who may live in comfortable houses but are constantly mired in drugs, foreclosures, and various other financial and social issues.
Despite Vegas' reputation as Party Central, it can be fucking rough depending on where you are, and the shit can hit the fan with zero warning.
It’s this culture that Misdirection are coming out of. The first thing you hear on last year’s debut Forever a Lost Cause EP is a news report relaying a story of some poor soul getting shot in the face near Ed W. Clark High School. Although the hardcore scene in Vegas is finally getting widespread recognition, with the stalwarts in Oversight, the powerviolence revivalists of Close Combat, and the crossover thrash of World Tension (previously covered by No Echo) gaining traction and the legendary Justin Fornof achieving national attention in Wristmeetrazor, Misdirection are reminding everyone that life in Sin City can be hard. More than that, they announce this with a pulverizing blend of early-2000s metalcore a la On Broken Wings and Foundation-indebted hardcore riffs.
On their newer material, Misdirection are focused on creating maximum dancefloor justice, with two-step parts and galloping riffs galore. Despite this, they are the farthest thing from ignorant, with lyrics that avoid the familiar tropes of “hardcore family” and “rising above the shit” (although there are occasional splashes of the latter). Instead, they explore more introspective themes, exuding desperation and hopelessness in a way that brings comparisons to other intensely depressive hardcore bands like Neglect, Harms Way, and Now Here Fast-era Death Threat. Combined with the agonized vocals and the bright, clean, yet crushing guitar tone, Misdirection are unique within the Vegas scene.
Their newest track, premiering today with a fancy-schmancy music video, encapsulates all of these qualities in a succinct three-and-a-half-minute package. Entitled “My Regrets,” the song is an emotional pinball firing off all sides of the tiny venue the video was filmed in. Interspersed with shots of burning flowers, the video mostly showcases the band and fans going hard, drawing more attention to the content of the song itself. “My Regrets” also features perhaps the most tortured vocal performance yet from the band, along with a slightly melodic edge that piques my interest for more of the upcoming material.
Because Misdirection are a band that puts their money where their mouth is, “My Regrets” is available for purchase on Bandcamp for $1, all proceeds from which will go to RAINN. Check out the video below:
To download "My Regrets" and help RAINN, head to Misdirection's Bandcamp page.