If you're looking for skank-ready rhythms and bright horn lines, NEXØ isn't the band for you. Yet, the Danish hardcore outfit can trace its history back to 2-tone. "We all used to play ska, but with the election of Donald Trump and the ongoing climate crisis it seemed like the world was no longer fit for happy music," vocalist Kristian Ejlebæk tells me.
"We had so much bottled up frustration and anger that needed to come out, and punk music is one of the best ways to release it in a constructive way. The four of us came from three other bands and quickly realized that something magical happened whenever we made music together. Our diverse attitude towards music should be an obstacle, but it turned out to be an asset. We’re pulling each other in different directions and end up with something that works."
NEXØ landed on my map via their awesome new singles, "Demise" and "Truthicide." So, if not ska, what fuels his band's sound? Kristian explains: "We play somewhat melodic and metallic hardcore. Our music is furiously fast most of the time, and quite aggressive. We love noise, but always with a keen sense of melody. On the new album we have made way for psychedelic soundscapes as well and started using far more effects on both the bass, guitar, and vocals.
"We can hardly ever agree on what bands are good—perhaps that’s why we work so well together—so it’s difficult to name specific influences, but I think you can find some '80s hardcore in our sound and without sounding like them, I think we are heavily influenced by a load of contemporary post-punk bands.
NEXØ will be releasing a record called False Flag tomorrow. "The death of truth is the main theme of the new album. The name False Flag refers to how alternative facts became legitimate in the public discourse in recent years. Politicians spin facts to make them fit specific objectives, journalists tell the story they want, and scientific evidence is over-ruled by people’s feelings.
"Social media has democratized the assassination of objective truth, making it impossible to agree on even the most basic reality. The confusion that follows create apathy and division."
Admittedly, I'm out of the loop on the punk scene in Denmark, so I ask my new friend about the deal over there. "The punk scene in Copenhagen—K-town—has always been strong, particularly because of Ungdomshuset (The Youth House) which ensures at least one good DIY stage at all times. But currently more stages are coming to life, and particularly the post-hardcore scene is booming.
"Bands like Tvivler, Eyes, Invektiv and Hiraki must not be missed. If you’re more into pop punk you should check out Forever Unclean, and if you want a laugh and a kick in the groin at the same time, go for Situationsfornærmelse. It’s a great time to be a fast and aggressive band in Denmark!"
False Flag arrives tomorrow, April 15th, via 5FeetUnder (Denmark), Kink Records (Germany), and TNS Records (UK).
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