October Ends Signs With UNFD, Release New Single, ‘Play Time’

Hailing half from Newcastle, UK, half from Athens, Greece, multi-voiced genre-mashers October Ends have been somewhat of a well-kept scene secret. Though it dropped amidst the throes of the 2020 pandemic, the band’s self-recorded, self-released debut album Zodiac has racked up more than 10m streams to date, with no touring or promotional push behind it. But now, through their global partnership with UNFD, October Ends are primed and ready to step out of the shadows and introduce themselves to the world writ large.

“We’re buzzing to start releasing new music with UNFD,” enthuses guitarist/vocalist Michael Charlton, part of the band’s Newcastle unit; “We’ve been sitting on exciting material that takes October Ends in a new direction and includes the best songs we’ve ever written.”

The first of these new songs is the band’s UNFD debut single, ‘Play Time’. A groove and hook-laden modern metal mini-anthem, ‘Play Time’ builds around an irresistible nu-metal stomp, adding layers of electronics and Trap inspired beats, before crashing into a soaring chorus crescendo.

A tragic tale told from the perspective of a protagonist struggling with addiction and mental health, ‘Play Time’ tackles the temptation to give in to dark urges, as Nick explains: “It’s quite dark subject matter, but we really wanted to explore and exaggerate these themes as many of us in October Ends have struggled with mental health, especially during the pandemic. Sometimes you feel like there’s just no way out. Sometimes it feels like you should just give in to your dark side. In a tongue in cheek fashion, we suggest partying with your demons, giving up and joining them, facing them another day. A lot of people suffer out there, and it’s not easy to face your demons.” 

As well as handling the track’s production and a chunk of the lead vocals, Nick also directed and edited the official music video: “I wanted to emphasise the rough times that come with substance abuse through using metaphors. I was very much inspired by (HBO tv series) Euphoria to employ contrasts to give context in a scene without the use of dialogue. It’s stressful to direct, perform and even film in some cases, but doing this with a crew under our direction really is enabling us to unlock the best of our creativity and visualise our ideas exactly the way we want them.” 

Invent Animate Sign With UNFD, Announce New EP

Fresh from a string of US signings including Hollow Front, Vatican, Sleep Waker and Moodring, UNFD is now pleased to welcome fellow US heavy mainstays Invent Animate to the roster. 

Today’s signing news is bolstered by the announce of the band’s new EP The  Sun Sleeps, As If It Never Was and the reveal of its first single ‘The Sun Sleeps’. Out in full September 23, the EP finds Invent Animate opening up a powerful discourse on the ricochet effect of trauma and addiction.

Searingly close to drummer Trey Celaya and his family’s story navigating a drug addiction crisis, it comprises a one-two punch of songs describing both perspectives of this tragic and deeply painful scenario. The first track, today’s ‘The Sun Sleeps’ sheds light on the story from the perspective of the drug affected, meanwhile the accompanying ‘As If It Never Was’ explores the view of those left reeling in the sphere of impact of drug addiction.
 
Speaking of ‘The Sun Sleeps’, Trey shares: “We wanted to explore both sides of a deeply painful situation, and to draw out how nuanced and weird and difficult these things can be.

“I think people are learning in the modern day it’s not as simple as ‘this is just a bad person, and they were addicted to drugs and they did it to themselves’, there’s always a string of trauma and things that are not dealt with and stigmatised mental health that sets off a spiral. Even if one person is clearly in the wrong, it doesn’t exempt them from being a victim in another sense.”

Speaking conceptually of the EP as a whole, he adds: “Despite all attempts to keep our darker reality shadowed in secrecy, there comes a moment in time when the truth can no longer be hidden behind closed doors or empty excuses. And at once, everything is revealed, as if the Light is a constant law of nature laying bare the secrets we believe are ours to keep. In this infinite moment, the bond shared between two loved ones is severed. The flow of time does not wash away the scars, it only immortalises what is suspended in the balance – the pain of loss, the gift of hindsight, and the curse of hope. What will always be a memory. This EP is a true story of addiction and the trauma that lies in its aftermath of a secret too dark to be hidden.”

Check out the video for ‘The Sun Sleeps’ below.

Sleep Waker Sign With UNFD, New Record ‘Alias’ To Be Released In July

SLEEP WAKER which consists of guitarists Jake Impellizzeri and Jason Caudill, vocalist Hunter Courtright, drummer Frankie Mish, and bassist Aaron Lutas — have signed with UNFD. The Grand Rapids, Michigan-based band will release its second album Alias on 23rd July. Pre-order the album here.

Sleep Waker have also shared the video for the first single ‘Distance.’ Check it out below.

‘Distance is about loss — more specifically, losing someone very close to you,’ says Courtright. ‘For me, it’s about witnessing my grandfather struggle with dementia. His passing really hit me and it was a very hard and emotional experience. I immediately knew I needed an outlet for that feeling and started working on the lyrics that eventually turned into Distance.’

Mish furthers, ‘When writing Distance, we realised this was the perfect song to round off this album. We had most of the songs finished and this demo just sat there as a lead and a chorus, and the further we got into the process, the more we realised we really needed something to stick out as a major emotional point in the album. Once that clicked, the song just easily flowed out.’

Overall, Alias is the sort of album that asks listeners to examine who we are, how we quantify our reality, and what it means to be alive. Although rooted in many of the same conceptual themes and ideas that gave the band their successful start in 2017, this time they’re diving even deeper. This time, it’s not just conceptual exploration. This time it’s personal.

“When I had the idea to start the band, I had insomnia and sleep paralysis,” says Mish. “It was a big thing in my life. I had the name Sleep Waker, I was playing around with logos and stuff like that. And then Hunter mentioned he had insomnia as a kid. So we bonded over that connection.”

“Each release has had a theme built around experiences we’ve had in dreams, or concepts based around sleep,” he continues. “[2017 debut EP] Lost In Dreams established that, and [2018’s debut album] Don’t Look At The Moon was all about sleep paralysis. But we tag-teamed the lyrics this time. I write from a lot of my personal experiences of nightmares and dreams. Overall, our overarching theme has always been the band name itself.”

‘I’ve had hallucinations,’ Courtright reveals. ‘I’ve had the feeling of someone sitting on my chest, and monolithic figures staring at me from the corner of my bedroom. That stuff’s definitely still interwoven throughout the album. But things really took a shift this time. On this record, my lyrics are quite literal and personal. Everything I wrote was either situational to my life, or about how a person can be changed by a life event or circumstance, thus creating an alias.’

Short Stack Release New Track ‘LIVE4’ Via UNFD

Australian rock trio Short Stack have revealed their latest single and video ‘Live4’ today. Frontman Shaun Diviney shares how ‘Live4’ was the first track the band penned in their first writing sessions back together, adding:

“‘Live4’ is song is about celebrating being the underdog. We wanted a huge, anthemic song that would feel massive live. The verse all vocals with choirs which is something we’ve never done before, but we really wanted the chorus to explode.”

In March, Short Stack joined the UNFD fold to a swell of praise, excitement and surprise at their first new music after a 6 year hiatus. With single ‘Burn You Down’ and the follow up reveal of ‘Burn You Down (Acoustic)’, debuting on Australian and US radio alike, Short Stack have re-stamped their name on the world’s conscious as one of Australia’s most successful homegrown acts.

The trio celebrated their rebirth with an intimate show at Sydney’s Crowbar which sold out in a matter of seconds, and released a Burn You Down 7″ featuring the original & acoustic versions to another quick sell out response. In addition to their June Melbourne show, Short Stack play their rescheduled Australian tour throughout November and December.

Meanwhile check out Short Stack’s continued stroke of energy with new music video ‘Live4’ below and check out the single via the following link.

VATICAN Announce Signing To UNFD & Release ‘Become A New God’ Double Single

After developing a name for themselves and garnering press praise from Revolver, Kerrang!, New Noise, and more with 2019’s full-length Sole Impulse, Savannah’s VATICAN are pleased to announce that they have signed with UNFD. The label is home to the likes of Silverstein, Stray From The Path, ERRA, Frank Iero, and more.

The five-piece storms out of the gates hard with the new double-single effort Become A New God, which features Fractured God and Absolute Reality. Listen to both tracks via the following link.

Watch video for Fractured God below.

The release finds Vatican tackling the complexity of the human experience and all its brokenness, uncertainties, strangeness, and need for constant self-reflection and improvement.  

Singer Mike Sugars offered some deep insight about each track. “‘Fractured God’ is about questioning who you are, and what makes up your individuality,” he explains. “Are we truly individuals, or are we products of ideals passed on from last generations? Do we have our own ideals or are we just vessels for those we inherited?”

Regarding “Absolute Reality,” Sugars says, “We talk about undeniable truths, and how hard they are to find. There’s a constant flow of information and disinformation in the world today, and it flows at an ever-increasing rate. How can we possibly take all of this and use it to create real context in a technological landscape where this information is disseminated out to users who just chew it up and repeat it?”

He finishes, “Become A New God, as a pairing of these songs, is trying to question what it is to be human in an increasingly complex world and time.”

While edging on sub-genres like djent and industrial and with influences like Meshuggah and The Dillinger Escape Plan, Vatican also sit tightly against new wave risers like Knocked Loose and fellow Southern heavyweights Kublai Khan.

Guitarist Tom Lovejoy shares how their ethos as individuals and as Vatican cuts through in Become A New God, saying, “Part of what I think we all represent as people and a band is the idea of taking yourself to task when challenges come up, and figuring out the healthiest, most constructive way to deal with it. That’s why some of the lyrics are extremely blunt, and why the title of the record is, too; it’s not shrouded in metaphors. It’s just a quick way of saying, ‘Accept that maybe you’ve fucked some things up and it’s nobody’s responsibility but yours to fix that.'”

 Armed with these two tracks, Vatican are poised to break from the shackles of small-town Savannah before too long. 

DROWN THIS CITY return with thumping new single ‘NEW BURN ORDER’ Out now via UNFD

Melbourne outfit Drown This City return with their thrashing new single and video ‘New Burn Order’ today after the track’s premiere on triple j’s short.fast.loud last night. The release marks the first taste of new music from Drown This City in 2021 and comes alongside the announcement of new bassist/vocalist Toby Thomas joining the group.

‘New Burn Order’ paints a hauntingly stark picture of DTC vocalist Alex Reade’s rejection and detachment from her family at a young age. Listeners will find the song’s character breaking free from her abandonment to join a cult for a sense of belonging. Reade shares that writing from the perspective of a character to express herself ultimately allowed her to go to places she had previously been too uncomfortable to express.

On the story behind the track, she shares: “There’s a line that says ‘You said you were ashamed to share my DNA, I’m sorry to tell you we are counterparts – mirror image, blurred view’… I want to tell them we are cut from the same cloth, my destruction is their destruction, my shame is their shame. They don’t have what it takes to survive this and I’m going to show them I do,” adding: 

“While you are not responsible for what happens to you, but you are for how you react. True freedom is acceptance that all our feelings, hurts, pains, vices, they belong to us now and we must battle them alone – carry them with pride – I’m not burning to be annihilated but to be cleansed and set free.”

After joining the UNFD family in 2019, Drown This City released their colossal sophomore EP Alpha // Survivor.  Warring with the idea of both a powerful survivor and a broken victim residing in herself, Alpha // Survivor captures vocalist Reade’s journey rising above pain in power. 

A fierce six-track package of strength and triumph, the release was quickly announced as Feature Album on heavy music radio juggernauts The Faction, its singles climbed to #1 on the Unearthed Metal chart and swiftly added to the rotation. Outlets including Distorted Sound classed the record in the upper echelons of releases that year, commenting “this is a well-rounded collection of songs that offer a true glimpse into what this exciting group are capable of.”

Drown This City play the Melbourne leg of Full Tilt Festival alongside Northlane, Hands Like Houses, Thy Art Is Murder, Luca Brasi, Slowly Slowly, Make Them Suffer + more in July and are set to support In Hearts Wake on their national tour in November.

‘New Burn Order’ is out now. Stay tuned for more new music from Drown This City soon.

Hacktivist Announce New Record, ‘Hyperdialect’.

UK band Hacktivist have announced their first full length record in five year.

‘Hyperdialect’ is set to be released June 18th via UNFD.

Co-vocalist J. Hurley had this to say:

“Look at the state of the planet at the moment and people are still ignoring it. It doesn’t make sense. There are all these homeless people on the streets, but there’s all this land and enough food to go around for everyone.”

Co-vocalist Jot Maxi added this: 

“There are so many things wrong with the way humanity is. We’re self-destructive and everybody knows it. It’s in a lot of films, especially in science fiction. But that dark future is no longer fiction and it’s very clear that we’re on a downwards path. If I buy a bottle of something to drink, it’s going to be sold in plastic and I’m going to feel guilt about that. Take a look at any city around the world – there’s so much opulence and grandeur on show, but look closely enough and you’ll find people living on the streets, homeless. Where is this going? There are islands of plastic bottles in the sea now, but we only have this one planet. It’s mad. It’s all tilting downwards, and into the mouth’s of the rich.”

The band have also dropped ‘Planet Zero’. Check it out below.

Check out the Cover Art, Tracklisting and Pre-order links below.

01. Anti-Emcees
02. Luminosity
03. Lifeform
04. Armoured Core (feat. Kid Bookie)
05. Turning Tables
06. Currency
07. Hyperdialect (feat. Aaron Matts)
08. Dogs Of War
09. Ultima Dies
10. Planet Zero
11. How Dare You Exist
12. Reprogram

Pre-orders are available via the bands webstore.

Void Of Vision Announce Hyperdaze (Redux) Record Out This Friday

Melbourne metal stalwarts Void Of Vision are confirming details of their new recordtoday, due out this Friday via UNFD. Titled Hyperdaze (Redux), this re-release of the band’s 2019 album Hyperdaze comescomplete with a heaving list of guests collaborating across every track. 

Following recent cuts with Thornhill’s Jacob Charlton and Ecca Vandal released in the lead up to its announce, the rest of Hyperdaze (Redux) finds VOV collaborating with the likes of Jamie Hails (Polaris), Jon Deiley (Northlane), Lucas Woodland (Holding Absence), Garrett Russell (Silent Planet) & more.

Void Of Vision vocalist Jack Bergin declares how the Redux release finds the intensity of the original Hyperdaze completely dialled up on a notch:

“The people I hand picked for each track not only bring their own influence on board, but also build on what was already such an emotionally heavy release. It’s fully shaken the album up and spat it out somehow even more powerful than the original. We are super proud that we could create such a bold and collaborative project and still have it translate as we originally intended it to.”

After revealing a new music video for ‘Decay‘ ft. Ecca Vandal earlier this week, today’s album announcement comes alongside another taste of the release with the reveal of Splinterft. Loathe‘s Kadeem France

Hyperdaze (Redux) drops in full this Friday March 5 through UNFD. Fresh from being announced on The Amity Affliction‘s Australian headline tour, VOV announced two Melbourne headline shows of their ownthat sold in a matter of hours.  The band play two nights at Sooki Lounge later this month. 

On crafting the release throughout the throes of lockdown, Bergin shares how he curated such an epic list of guests:

“After reaching out to some of our close peers and friends in the music industry we quickly locked some names in on their respective tracks to get the ball rolling,” he explains.

“From there we looked at the 2020 Void Of Vision touring schedule that never came to be and reached out to a bunch of the names we were supposed to be sharing stages with. Overall we felt free to get creative and branch out and that lead to hitting up some people up outside of our realm (Ecca, Up Late) that could really take a track and flip it on its head.”

Throughout February, Void Of Vision began teasing the project with the release of reimagined versions of fan-favourite Hyperdaze tracks, from Jacob Charlton’s appearance on ‘Year Of The Rat’ and an unlikely team up with none other than Ecca Vandal on ‘Decay’.

The remainder of Hyperdaze (Redux) offers an epic mix of sheer chaos, pulsing EDM, lighter shades and more, as VOV and collaborators alike each flirt with the edge of possibility.  

With its release in September 2019, the original Hyperdaze seized a stark brand of bleakness akin only to Void Of Vision. On top of knockout global album reviews upon its release, the band went on to support Northlane around Australia, and took to festivals including Heaven & Hell, Schemaand UNIFY before sneaking in a headliner across Australia and Japan in early 2020.

1. Year Of The Rat (ft. Jacob Charlton from Thornhill)
2. Babylon (ft. Bobak Rafiee from Justice For The Damned)
3. If Only (ft. Lucas Woodland from Holding Absence)
4. Slave To The Name (ft. Jamie Hails from Polaris)
5. Adrenaline (Jon Deiley Remix)
6. Hole In Me (ft. Ken Koie from Crossfaith)
7. Kerosene Dream (ft. Garrett Russell from Silent Planet)
8. Decay (ft. Ecca Vandal)
9. Splinter (ft. Kadeem France from Loathe)
10. Hyperdaze (Up Late Remix)

Check out the Cover Art, Tracklisting and Pre-Save links below.

Hyperdaze (REDUX) is available to pre-save via the following link.

Short Stack Sign To UNFD, Release New Single, ‘Burn You Down’

UNFD is thrilled to announce Australian rock trio Short Stack as its latest signing, alongside the reveal of the band’s new single + video ‘Burn You Down’ today.

On reforming and creating new music together, Short Stack vocalist Shaun Diviney shares:

“Everything about how we approached this was different… where we used to find a lot of pressure to deliver something specific, we approached this with the thought that this is our chance to be the band we’ve always wanted to be.”

On the signing, UNFD General Manager Luke Logemann shares that the label has long-admired Short Stack for the intense fan culture they’ve built around their band.

“I’ve always admired Short Stack for their ability to build such a loyal and enthusiastic fanbase, and for how unapologetic they were in doing so. That’s always been the ethos of UNFD as a label and our bands, to care about the music and the fans first and approval last,” he says, adding:

“I saw them play Festival Hall over ten years ago, and I remember being overwhelmed by how passionately the fans sang every word back at them. They wrote huge bangers that you could never get out of your head, even if some people didn’t want to admit it. The best thing is, all of that still rings true – they still have crazy fans, they still sell out venues and they still write huge bangers. Based on how good the new material is, I reckon they’ll be doing this long into the future as well.”

On ‘Burn You Down’, Diviney explains that the track is part a reflection on the breakdown and rebuilding of the band and part observation on the world around them. 

“‘Burn You Down’ is about the duality of being young and feeling both indestructible and fragile at the same time,” he says. “I don’t think the world needs another happy pop song at the moment, because I don’t think the world is a happy place at the moment. This song comes from a place of anger and destruction, about wanting to tear something down and begin again.” 

Describing this comeback as even more significant than the first (see the 5 year gap and a few Short Stack kids now born), he adds that this time recording found the band paring everything back to their roots. 

“I think a lot of bands at the time when we first broke out were put together by labels and a lot of people threw us in that basket, but we were just a bunch of dudes that went to high school together and played Blink covers and it snowballed from there,” he says.

“To go back to our roots now and really just strip things back and play together in a room was really important to us. The reason we broke up was that it just wasn’t fun… it’s been a fair chunk of time now, so coming back finds us in a different stage of life with a different idea about what we want out of music.”

From beginnings in a Budgewoi garage at 16 to their explosive debut album ‘Stack Is The New Black’ at just 20, Short Stack quickly made a playground of the Australian landscape and were one of the biggest names in the country by the late ’10s. Beyond ascending to #1 on the ARIA Album chart with their debut record, the band claim credits including Channel V’s Oz Artist Of The Year (twice), a coveted Rolling Stone Magazine cover, two certified Platinum records and tens of thousands of tickets sold throughout their career.

Speaking on how the band now approach music with another decade behind them, Diviney concludes that the goal posts have shifted.

“At one point we were one of the biggest bands in the country, you know we’ve done so many things that you can’t really top, so our goal is really just to do something that we believe in and have fun doing it.”

Void Of Vision Release New Version Of ‘Year Of The Rat’ Feat. Jacob Charlton

Void Of Vision have teamed up with Jacob Charlton of Thornhill for a brand new version of their track, ‘Year Of The Rat’.

There’s still the heaviness on the track so don’t worry but now, there’s an added layer for ferosity with the Charlton’s vocals on the track.

Jack Bergin (Vocals) has comments:

“While I still feel like I’m not where I want to be mentally, it’s songs like this where I can truly see how much has really changed around me in such a short space of time. To gain a form of positivity from such an overwhelmingly negative track over the course of such an overwhelmingly negative year speaks volumes to the importance of heavy music and the reflection within it,” he says, adding:

“‘Year Of The Rat’ was written for those who have reached their expiry date, for the weak that have finally been weeded out. Watching an undeserving individual have a position of ‘power’ stripped from them has been a common theme throughout the year 2020, this song goes out to them.”

He also had this to say about collaborating with Jacob:

“About 5 years ago Jacob approached me after one of our hometown shows and asked if I wanted to do guest vocals on his new, up-and-coming band’s track. I’m pretty sure I said yeah, but forgot all about it until a good half a year later when our videographer Cian called and told me I had to come down to do guest vocals on this band that he was working with. The band in question ended up being Jacob and the rest of Thornhill tracking their debut EP, so I’m glad I listened to Cian for once.”

And Jacob adds:

“Jumping on this track was kind of like a little break for us both where we had the opportunity to build on something that had already been created,” he says. “Aside from that I was honestly super stoked to be a part of the project in general, VOV have always played a special part in Thornhill’s history so it was very cool to be included on a special part of their history”

You can check out the video for the track below.

Hyperdaze is available to order via UNFD.