In the last decade or so, heavier music in the mainstream has almost gone the way of disco. The niche subculture attached to post-rock and heavy metal has gone far more indie than most would have anticipated in the era of System of a Down, Disturbed, and others, but that doesn’t mean it has died off entirely. If anything, the genre has never been more primed for a comeback, and Pistols At Dawn seems to be leading that charge without hesitation.
Where others have failed and seemingly compromised their sounds with moments of pop or something a little more lowkey, Pistols At Dawn have returned with one of their best singles yet, simply named “The Truth.” “The Truth” is Pistols At Dawn’s first single off of their upcoming album Ascension, which is due out next month, and boy does it tear onto the scene.
Harkening back to their explosive track “Voices” off of last year’s EP Nocturnal Youth, there’s something so certain and assured with PAD’s approach to their sound. Pinning the overall influences on a certain set of bands feels as impossible now as it did when the EP came out, but the obvious undertones of groups such as System of a Down and Smashing Pumpkins are there — heavy music unafraid to push the boundaries of rock while maintaining catchy melodies and deep messages. These two bands drawing comparison defy ever feeling derivative, as PAD is left in great company. It’s no wonder why their producers Jeff Tomei and Sylvia Massy have worked with all three groups, too! There’s deft attention to detail applied to the band’s genre footprint, and both new and veteran fans of the genre alike will have something positive to take away from this latest single.
Where the Nocturnal Youth EP saw its creation and release amid a New Normal via a global pandemic, Ascension has had the benefit of coming next; both the lessons learned and experience gained from such an unexpected pressure cooker of a life scenario have contributed to the new material in fantastic ways. Drummer Adam Jaffe says the new single “revolves around the constant noise we have in our head pushing and pulling our emotions so much that we sometimes lose total control and explode.
We have to be careful to maintain our thoughts and emotions, or ‘The Truth’ is that they could tear us apart.” There’s an undoubtedly better headspace at play for the four band members in the studio compared to a couple of years ago, and the positive reinforcement of recording and performing together feels like a constant battle with the undeniably heavy lyrics songs within the genre of hard rock have to carry. Still, it’s redeeming to see that the lyrics come from a place of positivity!
It’s obviously far too early to declare Pistols At Dawn the saviors of modern rock, and I’m not sure they’d love that title, but their widely amassed fans and streaming numbers of over six million seem to be accepting the claim for them. Ascension is a Hail Mary pass of a project, allowing the Atlanta-based band to give their all towards something fresh and bold — “The Truth” is a letter of intention that’s signed, sealed, and delivered in blood, sweat, and tears. The new age of heavy rock ’n’ roll is almost upon us.
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