Now frankly, I’m not sure if there’s anything resembling a hardcore scene in Regina—I’ve only stopped a couple times at a local Travelodge on the way to Winnipeg. But this outfit caught my ear pretty quickly within the opening minutes of their full-length debut. (OK, with eight tracks in less than 25 minutes, you could almost call it an EP.) But hey, considering some of the sludgy sounds found within, I’m not shocked to find out it was recorded in Vancouver.
TMHM has actually toured across this country twice, which leads me to believe that “Bad Luck in Belleville” was based on personal experience. This one comes crashing out of the gate like a Roughriders rush-end, recalling the New York sludgecore of Unsane, or even the Cro-Mags at their slowest. “Toxic Mix” goes from a Neurosis-style intro to a rollicking hardcore gallop to a ringing, droning fadeout, all in less than two minutes, while the jagged grooves and barked-word vocals of “18oz” bring Biohazard and Suicidal Tendencies to mind.
“Thread Count” is another two-minute burst of classic crossover, with some wicked-fast drumrolls beneath the opening verse and vicious, gang-barked “Whoa-oh-ohs” the second time around. The title track sounds kinda like Baptists, if they were fronted by Cyko Myko, while “Better Half” offers another unhealthy helping of hardcore fury, with a couple off-kilter noise-rock riffs thrown in for good measure.
Basically, if any of the aforementioned acts are up your alley, and/or you miss the days when “metalcore” was used to describe COC and DRI, then you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not listening to this.
Stage Names releases August 17 and is available for pre/order via Bandcamp: themanandhismachine.bandcamp.com/album/stage-names-2.
TMHM is on tour right now: