Expect the unexpected with Arizona band After The Calm, whose fusion of pop-punk, rock and post-hardcore conjures up something different from track to track.
The band was originally formed by Kody Rattler (drums), David Nunez (guitar), and Henry Cota (bass), who then added Jonathan Habermacher (guitar) and ran several singer auditions. Through Craigslist they eventually discovered Logan Miracle to more than adequately fill the void and set about building a fanbase through gigging before the released of debut EP Ignis Fatuus in 2016.
They’ve since released a few singles that reflect their ever-evolving sound. As Logan explains: “A mixture that has a different taste with every listen. From Hardcore, Alternative, Punk and more. Give at least a couple songs a listen, they’ll all be different.
Their latest offering Stuck On Repeat gives us a taster of this intriguing combination of styles, with shouted backing vocals adding a post-hardcore edge under engaging punky vocals “I don’t want your problems anymore because they’re clouding up my head, It’s the same pattern it was before, Feel the pounding in my chest, I just want to stay inside today, Away from all the chaos and dismay, Get a grip on this reality, ‘Cause it keeps shutting down my brain.”
It bursts into a catchy chorus of “Keep up the routine, Always the same, Trying not to break, Focused on everything, It all feels pointless, Don’t be this way, I told you once before, Can’t take it anymore” over punky guitar chords and driving drums. A funky bassline fills in ahead of a more intense second verse supported by palm-muted guitars and continues into another catchy chorus.
The instruments drop out bar a low riff under building vocals that end on a big scream and drop into a big final blast of the chorus and screamed vocals to bring the track to a heavy close. Check it out in the video below:
Prior to that they also released Captive, which starts off much heavier with building guitars dropping into spoken vocals that build into a big smash of heavy guitars and a screamy verse. A more singalong chorus follows “This is time to change, I refuse to stay, Paving my own way, I am not afraid, Hold your head up high, We will survive, It’s your life to choose.”
The heaviness dives straight back in, ending on a huge scream then a funky little lone bassline that continues under a cry of “In a world of so much hate we disintegrate” that gives way to a huge barrage of screams, doomy guitar chords pounding drums. Give it a listen below:
Collectively, the band takes influence from a wide range of places, with Logan’s specific call-out of A Day To Remember beng particularly apt to their punk-meets-hardcore approach. Beyond that, Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger, Incubus, Red Hot Chili Peppers, System of a Down, Underoath, Avenged Sevenfold and Blink-182 all get honourable mentions.
While on what inspires their music, Logan explains: “A lot of my lyrics and themes come from personal experiences or things I feel strongly on or about. Recently I’ve been wanting to try to write more of a story and really be able to relate it to the listener instead of making it so personal. I think it’s the thrill of making this theme or story and trying to piece it together through your lyrics.”
There’s plenty more to come from the band, beginning with a gig at Pub Rock in Scottsdale alongside Assuming We Survive, We Were Sharks, and Love Like Fiction. Then they’ll have a new single out either before the end of this year or early 2020, with some acoustic tracks set to be released in the meantime.