Single Slam: Avatar, American Standards, Animals As Leaders, Patient Sixty-Seven, Kryptos, Gus G, Some Heard Trouble, Zeal and Ardor, and Hearts & Hand Grenades!

This week’s single slam features Avatar, American Standards, Animals As Leaders, Patient Sixty-Seven, Kryptos, Gus G, Some Heard Trouble, Zeal and Ardor, and Hearts & Hand Grenades. You can read our thoughts about the latest singles from these bands below.

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Avatar – Going Hunting

It’s not always evident what is strength and what is weakness. In the blinding light of conformity, the inner darkness is your only hope.

Going Hunting is a quirky number though maybe that should be expected. Going Hunting plays off plenty of transitions throughout to keep the song consistently fresh and exciting and uses the tried and tested building structure where the slow piano melody in the intro ends up at a raucous chorus after increasing tempo through each stage. A banging solo adds to a track that isn’t as instantly catchy as I would have hoped for but is a definite grower after multiple listens.

Avatar – Barren Cloth Matter

After the clean and quirky Going Hunting, Avatar must have felt the need to release some steam with Barren Cloth Matter which is a much more straightforward heavy track with speed and intensity in the music and growled vocals. The drums are on fire and the riff is a mosh pit filler. It drops down into a clean chorus but still packs plenty of aggression and some excellent vocal harmonising. An instrumental section that grabs your head and forces it to bang leads into a cracker of a solo. Check it out here.

American Standards – The Pendulum, The Podium

Phoenix, AZ punk infused metal band America Standards have debuted a chaotic new song, “The Pendulum, The Podium”. The unhinged single comes with the announcement of the band signing to New York label, Manic Kat Records.

Vocalist Brandon Kellum said of the song:

We wrote The Pendulum, The Podium for nobody other than ourselves. It’s not for the music gatekeepers, metal elitist or punk rock purist. The bands that we grew up listening to were always more genre bending. If anything, this is a song is for those that don’t fit in and don’t want to.

Chaotic is the right word but another could be ballsy. American Standards are all over the place here and it is a lot of fun. Chaos but ordered chaos that also happens to be bouncy, groovy and one hell of a head-banger. There is a ton of punk and hardcore spirit in this one but it’s also got a lot of modern metal meatiness to it. Check it out here.

Animals As Leaders – Monomyth

Ground-breaking, genre-defying instrumental trio, Animals As Leaders have dropped brand new track ‘Monomyth’, their first in 5 years. The band also announced today that they have signed a new deal with their current label home, world renowned independent powerhouse, Sumerian Records.

Speaking on the band’s new release, Tosin Abasi shares:

“Monomyth” is part fever dream, part ritual. Its imagery represents man’s ceaseless attempts to translate transcendent ideas into movement. The conflation of struggle with meaning. Pain with significance. The ultimate failure of distilling perceived patterns in the world into knowledge.

Baffling. Surreal, challenging… Monomyth is a mind-fuck of a track that looks at modern instrumental prog and laughs. Animals As Leaders have crafted something spectacular here. A track that is so unpredictable and with so many twists and turns, it’s akin to falling down the rabbit hole with Alice. Yet, for all its strangeness, it is wholly addictive and so very captivating.

Patient Sixty-Seven – Damage Plan

Perth’s Patient Sixty-Seven’s have revealed their latest single ‘Damage Plan.’

Vocalist Tom Kiely says that:

Damage Plan is a song written about being at your lowest point. Feeling broken and hurt by the world around you, by those closest to you – and fighting back against the current. The song is an anthem as much as it is a cry for help.

We aimed to bottle the desperation felt by those who feel they can’t survive without pain, and channel it into aggression. The ultimate message in the song is about saying, enough is enough, I can’t take any more of the pain, abuse and heartache – I’m done. Whatever that looks like.

If that’s walking out on the person who is physically violent, the drug of choice that keeps you at its mercy, the person or vice that keeps you hostage – even at your lowest point you can find the strength to fight for a better life.

Fiery and ferocious, this Aussie metalcore unit have a lot of pent of feelings to express and they do so in style. Damage Plan is a track with heart and soul, the stompy verses play off the cleaner choruses really well. It’s a track that makes you want to move but with a hell of a lot more purpose, especially when it gets wilder and heavier as it goes on. Check it out here.

Kryptos – Hot Wired

India’s Heavy Metal force Kryptos have released their new single ‘Hot Wired’, taken from upcoming album “Force Of Danger”, out 1st October on AFM Records.

As heavy metal as they come in modern times, you can hear the ripping of denim and squeak of leather in this track. A straight-forward head-banger paying tribute to the heady days of metal gone by. It sure does sound dated but it doesn’t mean it’s not a lot of fun. It won’t just be the crusty old-school head-bangers that will be getting the neck muscles working with his one. Check it out here.

Gus G – Enigma of Life

Gus G has released a new single called ‘Enigma Of Life’, off new album ‘Quantum Leap’ which is out on the 8th October on AFM Records.

A bit of a power ballad, the guitar melody in this track is particularly emotive but it also really buoys on the mind and soul. Relaxed but also showcasing passion, it’s one hell of an instrumental epic. Unsurprisingly, the guitar skills are just out of this world.

Some Heard Trouble – Hivemind

Melbourne’s Some Heard Trouble have released a hard-edged new single called “Hivemind” and along with it, a fantastical video featuring VR, screaming underwater and growing ever closer to the Hivemind trapped in the VR world revolting/failing.

The band say that:

For us, ‘Hivemind’ is a product of the pandemic – especially in terms of the impact it’s had on our social constructs. It’s hard to not being together, but it’s emotionally and mentally buoying to see countercultures and people within the scene settling into little online communities, banding together and keeping creative. It’s kind of a revolution song against circumstantial complacency.

A passionate display of post-hardcore noise from the Aussie collective, Hive Mind delivers heavy highs and clean lows for an arduous listen. A track that gets under the skin with its use of effects, mournful clean singing and intense heavy bouts of hardcore fury. Check it out here.

Zeal and Ardor – Bow

Swiss firebrand alchemists Zeal & Ardor have revealed the scathing, unflinching track ‘Bow’, taken from their forthcoming, self-titled new album, set for release February 11th, 2022, via MVKA.

Manuel Gagneux says:

Bow takes out established musical themes and places them into a completely different background. It’s an amalgam of things bestowing bad luck demanding you to join it.

Easily one of the most uncomfortable tracks from Zeal and Ardor, the powerful thump of percussion dominates. Buzzing through the mind with force, such force that the powerful vocals and accompanying crooning does little to make it any more comforting. It’s classic Zeal and Ardor, daring to challenge and nailing the feeling that you’ve been through the wringer with them. Check it out here.

Hearts & Hand Grenades – Beautiful Pain

Fresh off a run of North American tour dates supporting Smile Empty Soul, Buffalo NWOCR band Hearts & Hand Grenades have just revealed a music video for their brand new single “Beautiful Pain”. This is the second single from their upcoming sophomore album Between the Lines.

Says lead vocalist and bassist Stephanie Wlosinski:

Beautiful Pain is about taking responsibility and ownership of things you have done wrong in the past, that may have negatively affected oneself or those around you. Only after recognizing your responsibility, can you learn from those mistakes and ultimately, become a better person. We chose this song as a single because we felt it had a cool musical contrast between the soft verse and heavy chorus and that contrast signifies the difference between denial and acceptance of responsibility for one’s actions. It also carries a relatable message that almost everyone can connect with.

A melodic and slow-paced track, what Hearts & Hand Grenades lack in energy here, they make up for in passion. The guitar melody is lovely, the drum beat; simply but refined and the vocals are as powerful as always. The bursts of heavier intensity are dripping in atmosphere too.




Avatar, American Standards, Animals As Leaders, Patient Sixty-Seven, Kryptos, Gus G, Some Heard Trouble, Zeal and Ardor, and Hearts & Hand Grenades
  • Avatar - Going Hunting - 8/10
    8/10
  • Avatar - Barren Cloth Matter - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • American Standards - The Pendulum, The Podium - 8/10
    8/10
  • Animals As Leaders - Monomyth - 9/10
    9/10
  • Patient Sixty-Seven – Damage Plan - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Kryptos – Hot Wired - 7/10
    7/10
  • Gus G – Enigma of Life - 9/10
    9/10
  • Some Heard Trouble - Hivemind - 7/10
    7/10
  • Zeal and Ardor – Bow - 7/10
    7/10
  • Hearts & Hand Grenades – Beautiful Pain - 7.5/10
    7.5/10