New Artist Focus: Watchdogs

Photo: Sarah Dunn

"I’ve been friends with everyone in Watchdogs for years and we wanted to make a band that sounded significantly different than the existing locals," says Cody, the guitarist of Watchdogs during a recent chat with No Echo. Formed in 2016, the quintet is one of the many excellent hardcore units to come out of Richmond, VA in the past couple of years. I asked Cody who some of the band's shared influences were. "We all enjoy heavier hardcore in the vein of Hatebreed, Cold as Life, and Blood Sunday, so that’s what we narrowed it down to." I was curious to Cody's thoughts on why he thinks Richmond has been such a hotbed for hardcore as of late. "We have solid venues to do shows at, really great bookers, and consistent attendance." 

Earlier this month, Watchdogs dropped Sanguinary, a 6-song EP that will also be released on vinyl via Life & Death Brigade shortly. On the musical front, tracks like "Not Like You" and "No Resistance" have a definite Neglect feel to them, especially in the moshy guitar riff department. Megz' vocals are death metal-like in their gruffness, but she also flows along with the groove-driven sections, lending another layer of punch to the formula. With the combination of the guttural vocal style, and the negative-sounding guitar parts, there's an almost funereal vibe to the EP. 

Watchdogs have been playing out more consistently now that Sanguinary has hit their Bandcamp page, so I ask Cody which other hardcore groups he's seen lately that we should all look out for. "Everyone’s attention should be directed to Clear Focus from Buffalo, Evade from North Carolina, Heathen from Long Island, No Idea from Pennsylvania, Wise from California, Typecaste from Boston, Forced Neglect from Alabama, Death Rate from Michigan, Inclination from Kentucky, No Victory from Indiana, End It from Baltimore, and Vamachara from California."

Photo: Sarah Dunn

So, what’s the plan for Watchdogs for the rest of 2018 and beyond? "As far as touring, by the time this will be posted, we should have announced a Midwest tour with Paper Trail from Virginia Beach and Revenge Season from Georgia. Other than that, we plan to release a split with Evade, this phenomenal band from North Carolina, at the end of the year. We're most likely self-releasing that." Stay tuned, folks!

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Tagged: new artist focus, watchdogs