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Chris Mifsud’s “As the World Caves In” (feat. P.A.RKER and ALYXX)

Punky alternative rock has made an enormous comeback in the last three years, and the American underground continues to be the source for the best the genre has to offer in 2022. In collaboration with ALYXX and P.A.R.KER, Chris Mifsud’s new single “As the World Caves In,” a cover of the Matt Maltese song of the same name, celebrates the aesthetics of pop-punk and 2000s-style hard rock from a surprisingly unique place given the fact that this wasn’t penned by anyone in the studio, and by the time the track hits the halfway point, it’s obvious we’re listening to some exceptional chemistry on tape. These are three players with a shared passion for the medium, and they’re spotlighting a brilliant ongoing trend here.

This groove might be out of the metalcore archives, but that’s where the correlation between the stylization of this track and past works by bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan ends. ALYXX’s vocal is particularly charming against the rigid backdrop of the beat, and although there’s a lot of undue pressure created off of the clash between the swarthy bassline and the crunchy percussive force ahead of it, it yields untold amounts of catharsis on the other side of the chorus that might not have been here with a different arrangement. Chris Mifsud has always been willing to experiment with the limitations of his sound, but this is a case where he’s pushing his collaborators to get even more creative with the material than he is (the irony again being that this is a cover song).

The bassline blushes quite a bit when we’re expecting the bottom-end to be rather subtle in the backdrop, but this doesn’t stop the main guitar riff from ripping through and establishing some balance in the structure of the song once more. The melodic trappings of “As the World Caves In” are startlingly physical next to the percussion and the momentum created off of the vocal delivery, and had I not known otherwise, I would have assumed these three players shared the same moniker in a band rather than performing on their own as individuals. They’ve got such mad fireworks going off in this piece, and I would hate for it to be the lone occasion on which they work together.

Ideal collaborations of any genre tend to show off the best elements each involved artist has to offer, and it’s in this sense that I refer to “As the World Caves In” as a high-quality listen for alternative rock fans young and old alike this February. Chris Mifsud has been on my radar for a minute now, but if you weren’t familiar with ALYXX or P.A.R.KER ahead of hearing them sharing the same recording space in this performance, I think you’re going to step away from the song with a real interest in keeping an eye on their output in the future. All three of these players know what they’re doing inside of a studio, and I’d love to find out if that chemistry extends to the live stage sometime.

Mindy McCall



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