Just because we like the music equivalent of fighting shirtless in the street, does that mean we don’t deserve some melodies to hum while we are doing it? Hell no! Melodic hardcore has emphasis on melodic guitar work as well as chanting choruses, sing-alongs and those all important breakdowns. It will have you in the pit and singing your favourite lyrics over and over, it’s damn catchy! (These are bands that I consider melodic hardcore, not metalcore, I know there is a fine line)
1) POLAR. – These guys smashed my local hardcore scene in Surrey, before moving on to smashing the British hardcore scene and after the release of their insanely brilliant second album Shadowed by Vultures; they are now smashing the European hardcore scene. With their unformulated hardcore sound, immersive guitar riffs, punchy drumming and pure catchiness it is easy to see why. POLAR.’s melodies will have you bouncing before thrashing you around during the breakdowns, the perfect blend of almost metal like riffs and breakdowns.
2) Stick To Your Guns – You’ll be singing, you’ll be moshing. Orange County’s melodic hardcore band Stick To Your Guns rarely release a song that doesn’t open up a pit or get you singing. Their bi-polar sound is created from a blend of quick and calm guitar work alongside aggressive and clean vocals; all reinforced by hard hitting drum beats and bouncy bass riffs. From their harsh punky debut album For What It’s Worth to their finely crafted 2015 album Disobedient, Stick To Your Guns have kept their melodies on form, their breakdowns abrasive and their vocals addictive.
3) Modern Life Is War – Punk inspired with catchy riffs, a DIY attitude and anti-establishment lyrics. Relying less on breakdowns and more on the overall flow of their music with differing song structures, throwing out the verse chorus verse chorus breakdown chorus routine, has given Modern Life Is War a unique stance within hardcore. Focusing less on crushing breakdowns and the brawn of straight up hardcore bands and putting a stronger emphasis on their melodies they are one of the less aggressive bands in the genre which in this case is far from a bad thing.
4) Comeback Kid – After gaining success and notoriety through word of mouth within the Canadian hardcore scene, Comeback Kid have grown into one of the leading bands within the genre. Even after substantial line up changes, most notably Scott Wade being replaced by guitarist Andrew Neufaeld on vocals, their sound has rarely altered sticking to the fast guitar riffs, vicious vocals and burly breakdowns that got them recognition from their first album Turn It Round.
5) Obey The Brave – With only two albums under their belt, Obey The Brave seemed to have already settled into their sound. Not messing around with anything unnecessary or redundant these guys keep it simple and sweet. Using frantic verses to blend with chanting choruses, sprinkle a little metal influenced guitar licks and stir in foot stomping, neck shattering breakdowns and you get Obey The Brave. It’s as straightforward as that, vocalist Alex Erian wants you to sing, guitarists John Campbell and Terrence McAuley want you moshing and the combined efforts of drummer Stevie Morotti and bassist Cory Wilson want you headbanging.
Other bands to look out for:
The Ghost Inside, Dead Harts, Fed To The Ocean, Gideon, Hundredth, Nebru, , Heart In Hand , For Today, Last Witness, Rise Against, Napoleon, Defeater, Demoraliser, Carcer City, Counterparts, With Life in Mind , Obey The Brave, , Being As An Ocean, Such Gold, Lock & Key, Parkway Drive, In Hearts Wake, For the Fallen Dreams