Review: Why Im Dead – How to Handle the News, While Sailing Through the Confusion (self-released, Jul 21)

The explosive revival of Myspace metallic hardcore aesthetics and musical styles in the past few years largely manifests in two distinct forms: exhumation (e.g., collectible reissues by Wax Vessel, Tomb Tree, Zegema Beach, and others) and, obviously, continuation. While Why Im Dead, a new band out of Indiana that’s most likely a solo project, mostly belongs in the latter category, there are plenty of instantly recognizable tributes drawn directly from classic scene releases that work tremendously well as catalysts for more modern elements to take shape and remain sturdy. The most noticeable example of this is the vocals, which are undeniably reminiscent of Richard Lombardi’s distinct abrasive yowls atop the impatient chaos of beloved quartet The Sawtooth Grin. Unlike genre touchstone Cuddlemonster (which recently received an amazing remaster for its vinyl reissue that enables the already violent music to hit ten times harder), though, How to Handle the News, While Sailing Through the Confusion has a smelly foot planted squarely in contemporary metalcore, whiplashing between low-end sludge chords and fretboard-scaling dissonant stabs just as often as it grinds and growls. “Tribal Tats & Backwards Hats,” besides evoking the magical time that was the mid- to late-2000s just with its title, bulldozes eardrums with snappy Tower of Rome snares and dense guitars to culminate in a ridiculously heavy-hitting just-on-the-verge-of-deathcore breakdown, and while you’re still recovering from that it launches into “Cage Caster,” whose anthemic surges and eviscerating coda provide an epic conclusion that makes the diminutive EP feel more complete than one could have ever imagined. Make sure to check out for more sick tunes and talented goons.