11 Jan 2022 - Thorsten
Post-Hardcore | Exile On Mainstream | Release date: 27 Aug 2021 | Favorite song: Own
3.30am at night. On a Wednesday. With less than three hours of sleep left. After usually only having had 2,5 hours before. Nevertheless, if you woke me at that moment, played “Mother Mary“ or “#1 Defender”, “Roosevelt Champion III“ or “Crush On Everyone“ and asked what the connection was – I would probably already be up and banging to those four tunes and then shout the answer: “JONAH!!!” With the release of the latest record by Sons of Alpha Centauri, I could add another few songs, because the band based in Southern England released a wonderful record on the brink of post-metal and post-hardcore featuring the vocals of none other than emo-/post-hardcore legend Jonah Matranga!
This record is a very unique twist on several things “post” as English outfit Sons Of Alpha Centauri are known for their different approach to post-metal, which takes a lot of influence from stoner rock and metal. The latter can surely be recognized in their frequent collaborations with Karma To Burn; nevertheless they also worked with metal innovators James Plotkin (Old Lady Drivers/Khanate) and Justin K. Broadrick (Jesu/Godflesh). Their latest collaboration is different again – they worked with Jonah Matranga whom many should know for his work in Far, New End Original, Gratitude, Camorra or solo as himself or under the moniker Onelinedrawing; btw – can you find the two acts not having been included in the four songs at the top? And they invited another person to work with for Push: Mitch Wheeler, best known for being a part of Will Haven. Thus this is a meeting of Sacramento and Southern England, and the songs were recorded in California’s capitol by Lance Jackman.
Of course, the most distinguishable contribution comes from Matranga, whose ever-youthful voice and seemingly-laconic vocal style is one in a trillion. This being the first time, he used his voice again on a heavy album since 2009’s Far reunion record At Night We Live, together with Wheeler on the drums already makes for a rather interesting record. And lines like ”I’m gonna be, I’m gonna be what I wanna see, I’m not free till you’re free” (from ”Buried Under”) are just another example why this voice is a dream come true for any band. The lyrics are pretty simple, yes, but when they are delivered with such a bravado, who would turn off?
But when one hears the sounds and songs, it is immediately 1997 again and it’s the perfect time and spot for this form of post-core close to the Sacramento style of dreamy riff-oriented space-rock (let’s not call it nu metal, okay?). If one needs comparisons, the most obvious one are the Deftones, but that would not do the record and the participants justice. For many elements are much heavier than post-hardcore would imply, maybe not when it comes to riffing or screaming but in the mix. There are a few uptempo songs on Push that really set the record apart from its contemporaries in 2021. The other band that should be mentioned here as a good comparison are post-core and emo-core godfathers Fugazi. The title track could be a second ”Waiting Room” with its signature bass line, which often draws this comparisons because of the sometimes hectic and a little frantic style that can remind people of Brendan Canty’s often criminally overlooked importance for the DC-heroes. I am pretty sure, Nick Hannon would love his work on Sons Of Alpha Centauri’s third full-length to be compared to Canty.
Nevertheless, this record is not a relic from 25 years ago, but a fresh take on the post-core genre, drawing influences from contemporary post-metal, some thrilling riffs and of course, the voice that is a soft as silk or as manic as Macbeth. Combined it with Wheeler’s drumming and the impact of the “Sons” this makes for a wonderful reminiscent yet modern record.