Song of the Day

Absence of Mine, “regretdisdainwallow” (2019)

What an interesting song we have here, and I mean good interesting, just in case you draw a differing conclusion. California’s Absence of Mine toy with expectations in ways most band wouldn’t dare, throwing genres at the wall to see what sticks. On “regretdisdainwallow,” all of it coalesces into one surprising, maddeningly gleeful three minutes of hardcore insanity.

Released last week, “regretdisdainwallow” carries the forlorn torch passed from Absence of Mine’s hefty, self-titled sucker punch they dropped last July, but here they throw in some zany ideas that truly differentiate them. The vocals, once caged and snarling, are now human, clean, prone to letting the aching nuance slip between verses.

Possessed of a '90s flair (and executed better than many who’ve been trying of late), the guitars wade through a fuzzy, melodic dirge, somewhere between the shores of shoegaze and grunge. 

Photo: Joe Calixto

This is still a hardcore song, don’t be mistaken, that genre-bending, love it or it hate it you still have to listen to it hardcore that Twitching Tongues paved the path for. Absence of Mine does much here: there’s dashes of the volatile guitar chaos of My Bloody Valentine, while the vocals tread the baritone gutters of Pete Steele’s straight-faced pain taking. “Regretdisdainwallow” bounces and craters, its mood an ever-shifting tonal war between its alt-rock accessibility and hardcore alienation. It all works, and my only regret is that there isn’t yet more to listen to.

Tagged: absence of mine