Bloody hell, bands seem to be dropping new material faster than my fingers can type. This has probably been the busiest January ever at EoE HQ! We now have yet another new song, this time from industrial rockers Julien-K.
The Californian outfit’s upcoming fifth studio album Harmonic Disruptor is long overdue, having been in gestation for well over a year. The record was first announced in 2018, and in June of that year an Indiegogo campaign started. Within the first 30 minutes it reached it’s funding target, accumulating a total of over £35,000 by the time the campaign was done. Thankfully, the long wait is nearly over, as they have finally confirmed it will drop this March (what is it with all the bands releasing albums in March?) What better way to tide eager fans over, than with a single in the form of the album’s title track?
From the get-go, the song is a heavy hitter. High-octane retro industrial synths roll in, bursting into some catchy, bulky riffage. The track follows this general structure throughout it’s 5 minute 15 second run-time, and whilst it feels somewhat basic, it’s extremely effective. The main refrain itself is very much an earworm, one that can easily get embedded into the listener’s head. There are plenty of intervals where the track warps and transforms in unexpected ways, subverting expectations. For a start, there’s an explosive anthemic chorus, that revellers are destined to be singing along to at concerts. There’s even a few electro glitch-laden breakdowns for good measure, delivering powerful force, as if a mech were trying to break into the studio during recording. There’s an aggressive tone to Ryan Shuck’s vocal delivery here, more so than has been heard in recent years, there being almost a violent energy to it. There’s also subtle tones that echo the style of the late Chester Bennington (rest his soul.) This is unsurprising, as Bennington acted as producer on the band’s debut album, Death to Analog, also lending Shuck some tips on vocal delivery in the process. It’s good to see the former singer’s legacy continued in some form.
Sneaking in multiple genres in just over 5 minutes, whilst keeping a consistency is impressive, constantly subverting expectations
Overall, the track has a very edgy, gritty tone to it, an aura that’s long been absent from Julien-K’s material. In fact, if I were to compare it to any of their other albums, I’d say it was closest to their first. It was a record that was brilliant for capturing such a unique mood, as well as defying genres, pretty much spanning across the entirety of the alternative music spectrum in just under an hour. It was quite a feat, making the record one of my favourite albums of all-time. The fact that this essence can be felt in just this one track alone makes listening to the entire record a very exciting prospect.
“Harmonic Disruptor” may seem very simple at first, but it ultimately becomes so much more as the track progresses. Sneaking in multiple genres in just over 5 minutes, whilst keeping a consistency is impressive, constantly subverting expectations. It will definitely get stuck in listener’s heads. Why not check out the track for yourself below, as well as the Harmonic Disruptor tracklist.
Harmonic Disruptor tracklist:
- Harmonic Disruptor
- Stronger Without You
- Lies Like Fire
- Shut Down Your Soul
- As the Sirens Call
- Burn the System
- Undo Everything