It’s often easy to lazily pigeonhole bands into specific genres but Cardiff’s Defeatist are a great example of why we ought to keep an open mind. The band has its roots in hardcore music but also offers up pop-punk and emo influences in an engaging sound they describe as “emotional, catchy and melodic.”
Indeed, the band summarise their sound as a mish-mash of their favourite genres, telling us: “It’s a bit like if Architects, My Chemical Romance, Periphery and Oasis had a super group. There’s something for everyone.”
Defeatist’s new music is the result of vocalist Jacob joining the band around a year ago – which now sees only one original member remain in what they jokingly refer to as “Defeatist 7.0.” Upon Jacob’s arrival, the South Welsh band decided to wipe the slate clean of any previous music and press the restart button.
Our latest taste of this new version of Defeatist is latest single Skin Deep, which was released at the start of this month. It opens up with rolling, driving drums and stabbing guitars over big clean vocals, which kicks into big singalong vocals “Get up and look at what I’ve become, A shell of me and half the person I used to be, I’m torn apart and I can’t seem to find my way, Out of this hole that I have dug myself.”
One of the interesting things about the track is there’s no traditional ‘verse, chorus’ format. The big vocals drop into light guitars and more laid-back vocals over rolling drums. Stabbing guitars and a cool section of driving guitar chords followed by little flurries of notes see it launch back into more engaging vocals that bring the song to a close.
On the track, the band tell us: “This track is definitely a step away from our more hardcore roots and more of a dip into our pop punk and emo influences. The track focuses on a character struggling with their mental health and hiding behind a façade of being okay.”
Check it out in the unusual video featuring a contemporary dance routine below:
That followed previous single Never Enough, which is perhaps a little towards the heavier side of the band’s sound but still retains the engaging vocals. It opens up with delicious chugging guitar chords, which are joined by intense vocals that feed into a big singalong section.
That gives way into more of the low-tuned chugging guitars that continue into a big atmospheric section we can potentially call a ‘chorus.’ It drops into light vocals, before heavier guitars and rolling drums kick into a big atmospheric conclusion.
And both tracks follow the intense Mother, which opens up with light vocals that end with the line “I’d talk to my mother but I’m not that strong, I’d miss my father if I knew him at all.” Heavier guitars and driving drums suddenly kick in then big screamed vocals “You’re the blood in me, Born of jealousy. You’re the blood in me, Now you’re dead to me” come in over the top.
That flows into clean vocals “I cherish my mother she’s so strong, I have no father” then a big scream and clean repeats of “I don’t know you at all” over delicious guitars and big driving drums. Lighter, drawn-out guitars take over to bring the track to a melodic end. Check it out in the video here:
The band’s members bring strong but very different musical influences to the table, of which the main influences include Architects, Funeral For A Friend, Fightstar and Oasis.
And, on the Defeatist sound, they tell us: “Give it a listen, you might like it, you might hate it but it will definitely get stuck in your head.” And we couldn’t put it better ourselves, although we definitely veer towards thinking you’ll love their catchy, melodic yet heavy sound.
There’s much more to come from the South Welsh quartet as they release debut EP Closure next month before getting to work on more new music before the end of the year.
As the band explain: “We would absolutely love to get some shows on the go for the end of the year. We’ve had to postpone all of our shows for the last 18 months so we’re dying to get out there, we’re working on it. We have our debut EP out in April which is really exciting and then we’re back into the studio in the Summer, ready for some exciting stuff at the end of the year.”
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