Holy mother of mayhem. The review today is from a band that, at least in my mind, represents the epitome of what’s going on right now at the forefront of so much popular music. Generally speaking, it’s what’s happening with the evolution of rock music. Genre norms are no longer met with boundaries, yet it’s clear that a significant amount of influence is taken from the many genres that you can audibly pick up on. And it’s a breath of fresh air. The gatekeepers of old have really become exhausting, and tend to keep things stale for way too long. That band I’m describing is one by the name of Love Ghost, based out of Los Angeles, CA.
“Chains” is one of a pair of singles the band has released this month (January) kicking off 2022. The second single being released just three days ago (at least by Apple’s timestamp), and is actually the same song but with a different remix featuring the MC Geassassin. The name of the song remains the same, pero en español como “Cadenas.” And my god, if you haven’t listened to Geassassin and have the palate for Latin hip hop, please, please do. The guy is fire. However, you don’t need me to tell you that, it’s likely that you already know, as Geassassin yields 1.4 Million monthly listeners on Spotify these days.
The version I’m reviewing today is the “Chains” version, featuring the British band Strange Bones, who are similar in influence and sound, and was technically released first (01-14-2022). Strange Bones is a band that also has created quite a buzz for themselves lately with experimentally visual performances and with recently signing to the label FRKST, which is ran by Johnny Stevens, front-man of one of my personal favorites, Highly Suspect. It must have been abundantly clear that this single was sure to be a powerhouse of a collaboration. The bands combined carry 172k monthly listeners on Spotify. If I were to apply a distinction between the two bands, I would say that Strange Bones’ sound more of a blend of electronica and old school punk, whereas Love Ghost has a grittier punk flavor more similar to grunge or post-hardcore, and more so blended with hip hop. With respect to “Chains,” these are subtle differences as all of that fruitions into a big common denominator between the two: Trap.
It is quite remarkable that I’ve only written about one song so far, and have rattled off an incredible list of talent that have some kind of “six degrees of Kevin Bacon” connection to it.
Instrumentation wise, the song knocks. The beats and samples hit your speakers hard and the guitar is nice and heavy giving it that overall “melt your face” quality. This is a sound that continues to push forward on what I say is the ripple effect of founding artists such as Linkin Park and Reveille from back in the day. Back then it was still such a new hybrid (pun totally intended, calling back to “Hybrid Theory”) of genre crossover that was hard (for some) to wrap their heads around at first; but otherwise was widely embraced with enthusiasm, as evidenced by where we are now and how well it has aged and continues to be relevant today. What makes this modern evolution so unique and interesting, aside from the advent of Trap along the way, is that the rock influence reaches so much deeper into hardcore, punk, and metal than ever conceptualized or done before.
My favorite part about the song is the lyrical content. When you hear the lyrics in context with the ebbs and flows of the music, you feel it at an even deeper level. The pre-chorus right before the chorus drops was the peak of the dynamic for me. That part of a song you’re just feeling so much that you can’t even audibly put words to it:
No matter what you say it wasn’t gentle
No matter how you play it I’m resentful
There’s demons always fucking with my mental
Your trauma tatted on me like “Memento”
I can’t even begin to express how that hits me when I hear it. I’ll leave it at that. I feel it. Plus, extra shout out to a great, somewhat obscure (perhaps for some), Christopher Nolan movie reference.
“Chains” is spinning on AMS Radio, as well as on our “Indie Anarchy” playlist
Find “Cadenas” on our “Indie Archives” playlist
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