Scowl // Psychic Dance Routine // Album Review


Hardcore is thriving in 2023. Bands like Drain, Pain Of Truth & Zulu are currently riding the wave of a new generation of bands bringing back the classic sound of punk & hardcore to pissed-off teens.

Scowl are one of the biggest & well-deserved right now. Releasing their first album “How Flowers Grow” in 2019 shot the band into the stratosphere. With a legendary appearance at Sound & Fury, tours opening Limp Bizkit & Destroy Boys the band have put in the road work & have placed themselves in a well-deserved “hype train”.

“Psychic Dance Routine” comes at the perfect time. A way for the band to keep fans hungry for more & progress at their own pace.

5 tracks of fuzzed-out hardcore punk with some muchly impressive new elements.

 “Shot Down” the opener feels right at home with Scowl, a fast pissed off hardcore blasting track. Showcasing vocalist Kat Moss’s evolution as a singer. Her aggressive vocals sound even more pissed than on “How Flowers Grow”, with all the bands touring it feels like she’s more at home with it, thicker & packs more punch. As the chorus kicks in she gets to push the envelope & bring some beautiful & catchy singing sections.

Mixing with the hypnotic guitar hooks from Malachi Greene and Mikey Bifolco these guys have really stepped up the writing on this EP. Each track has its own feel and signature & sticks in your brain for days.

“Psychic Dance Routine” right after offers something totally different. But for me personally is what I was hoping would come from Scowl. A more fuzzed-out, Nirvana meets Bad Brains feels like the perfect next step for the band. Still keeping the heart of Scowl, Bailey Lupo’s muddy but punchy bass tone drives the track & gives it that thin line between a punk dance number & grunge-heavy singalong which feels at home within the band’s sound.

Moss gets to really let free on this track & I couldn’t be more impressed & happier. Her voice is luscious & sultry. Giving you that pop sensibility of a 60’s female singer but with the attitude of 80s punk.

Now perfectly picking up the pace is “Wired”. This is by far my favourite hardcore track. The verse section invokes the early Ceremony & Trash Talk era & gives you the perfect to stage drive & head walk across your sofa. Getting to hear this style of Moss’s vocals breaks up the EP nicely.

Drummer Cole Gilbert gets to really shine on this track, giving the track that heavy beat to keep it more punchy & attacking. Also featuring a nice bass lick by Lupo this track is sure to cause chaos when put into the band’s live set.

The perfect meld of both aspects of the band’s sound is found in “Opening Night”. Balancing both sides of hardcore & pop are hard but here the track starts out fun & nice but slowly gets harder, heavier & more pissed, Creating a track that perfectly shows the band can flex more then just one muscle at a time.

Building the intensity through the track gives it the stand out factor most bands miss. Being a heavy band is cool but if you’re not taking risks sometimes then things become stale & here Scowl are taking risks & giving the middle finger to whoever gets in their way.

Teaming up with producer Will Yip was the best choice for the band. Being behind some of the best indie, rock & hardcore records in recent years Will’s ear is like no other. Working together they have been able to keep Scowl’s core sound but push the bands sound even more & its allowed the band to write tracks that will hit multiple genres & create a ton of new fans

“Psychic Dance Routine” is the band’s best material to date. Giving you something you didn’t know you needed while still giving you everything you wanted. They might be taking a risk but they are pulling it off with the perfect execution.

Joseph Mitchell

Psychic Dance Routine is out via Flatspot Records on April 7th, 2023

Psychic Dance Routine Tracklist:

1:Shot Down
2:Psychic Dance Routine
4:Opening Night
5:Sold Out

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