Today’s Song of the Day comes courtesy of the Lion City. The Singapore metallic crew Renegade roars out of the gate with Demo 2019. It dropped a few weeks back via Nuclear Family Records, the Wales-based label home to fellow standouts Vision Quest and Disarray.
The freshly minted unit pays a hefty debt to Strife and Unbroken with a dash of NYHC’s thrashier end. It’s topped off with a hefty dose of intimidation and mosh. They certainly sit alongside the current crop of bands flying a similar sonic flag. As much as Envision, Magnitude, and Abuse of Power come to mind, there’s also a bit of Regulate’s staccato chop riffing that shows up across the five songs.
Sporting deceptively alt-rock throwback cover art, the demo’s technicolor presentation is the only thing bright about this rage piece. In much the same way Higher Power’s Soul Structure plays with expectations, Renegade follow one path. It’s metallic and bleak.
The demo lays bare its hXc intentions, as does any album whose first track is dubbed “Intro.” However, it’s the closer that proves to be the most fully formed of punk bookends. “Die Cold” starts mid-yell, feeling like we’ve joined the party at what could be the song’s midpoint. Metallic mosh and lockstep groove quickly usher in what I like to call the “springboard riff.” It’s typically found in the briefest of moments, right before the guitars and increasingly speedy snare runs sync up with the first stage diver, if you will.
They manage to find time to two step and drop a pulverizing breakdown at the song’s third act, bolstered by the gang vocals of an innumerable amount of band members. Vocally, they go all in on the heavy. Bellowing and bordering on the indecipherable, they tread familiar lyrical territory without feeling trite or rehearsed. After all, bemoaning lives of quiet desperation and despair is universal, yeah?
As a side note, I wanted to big up an important part of the international hardcore community. Unite Asia (@uniteasia on all platforms) is an essential website for punk and hardcore throughout all of Asia. Analogous to No Echo in some respects, their contributions to the scene are essential, notes, and appreciated. Aside from their righteous politics and dissent in dangerous times, they provide an endless stream of rad music. Much love for the tip on this band. Unite.