One of the hardest things as a new band is finding your own sound and figuring out a way to stand out in the crowd. It can be especially hard in metalcore because everybody seems to be going for the same br00tal sound. After Hour Animals, a 5-piece metalcore band out of Milwaukee, has found a way to rise above the crowd with a mix of new and old sounds. Their latest single Spine is just further evidence of their talent. The track dropped earlier this month and was instantly added to a personal playlist. It starts off with an early-2000s echo-y guitar and slow intro that quickly ramps up as you hear the other instruments rev up behind it. Immediately behind that come Nik’s clean vocals, which are some of the best I’ve heard in awhile. Armon, who takes care of the screams and spoken word segments, mixes nicely with Nik which is a hard balance to strike. It can be jarring to switch between cleans and screams when it’s two different singers, but they mesh incredibly well and offer smooth transitions between each other on Spine. The track itself isn’t the heaviest around, but it has a very solid and low-down rhythm to it that make it very easy to groove to. It’s memorable and easily one of my favorites from AHA, especially with the breakdown towards the last third of the song. Most metalcore bands would throw a generic scream over the top and let it play out, but AHA opts to instead through a spoken word section with lyrics that punctuate what the song is about. “I know this isn’t cute, but somehow I can’t live without doubting myself, hating myself, I just have to keep telling myself we are who we are, I am who I am, and I am who I want to be” those lyrics coupled with Nik’s vocal work in the background hit hard in a place I don’t like to talk about.
However, if you’d like to keep talking about and listening to After Hour Animals, you can check out their Facebook and .