Single Slam – Dropout by Pallbearer

As part of the Adult Swim singles series, Pallbearer released a new song called Dropout. Dropout was released on the 27th of April via Nuclear Blast and is a little less doom and a little more rock.

The American doom metal band are riding tidal wave of popularity after their excellent 2017 release, Heartless. You can read our thoughts on that album here. While they have been around since 2008 and had garnered a large following, Heartless catapulted them to the masses and they are widely regarded as the ones to watch within the doom metal genre. I am not calling them shoegaze. I hate that term and refuse to accept it.

Pallbearer are led by the powerful vocals of Brett Campbell who is also on guitars. Devin Holt is also on guitars and adds backing vocals while Joseph D. Rowland is on the bass and more backing vocals. Finally, on drums we have Mark Lierly.


Dropout is a stand alone single that has been written purely for the Adult Swim television channel (the adult part of the Cartoon Network channel). Being a completely separate stream to their normal expansive music, Pallbearer have obviously used the opportunity to diverse a little. They admit as much in the following statement released by the band –

“We have almost always written music intended to exist as part of an album, with common musical and lyrical threads that tie many elements together into one release. Being freed from those confines in recording this song allowed us to explore themes and immediacy that might not have been uncovered in our more typical “large format” composition process”.

That doesn’t mean Dropout is naturally going to become a bad song. It isn’t at all. It is very good, actually. At just a touch over 5 minutes long, it is definitely short for a Pallbearer, or doom, track. As the opening guitars start out you will quickly realise this is different.

A few taps of the drum give way to drawn out lines on the guitar and a gently distorted riff. Brett’s vocals are high and soaring as the verse start and a more heavily distorted instrument sound joins in. The guitar lines that separate verses are quite uplifting, as are the soaring vocals. The main riff is bassy and doomy but what sits on top is a little more polished and condensed to suit the format. There is a solid guitar solo that leads back into some strong vocal work near to finishing making it a fine, doom tinted rock song.

Dropout is a decent song. It definitely lacks the creativity and expansive nature of their album releases but that is to be expected in this condensed format. A nice addition to Pallbearer’s discography. Dropout is probably short enough to pull in some new fans who maybe get turned away from the longer songs while being “them” enough to keep old and current fans happy.

Check Dropout out on Nuclear Blast’s YouTube channel here. It is available now on all the usual streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify. You can also grab this, and more from the band, at the Amazon links below. Find out more about Pallbearer at their website, on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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Dropout by Pallbearer
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