Let’s get straight to the point: Run, from Perth’s eclectic, metallic hardcore band Dying Degree, is a debut single that punches you straight in the guts. It’s hard to pin down what exactly you want from a band like this – metalcore, but not; punk, but not… it’s more like a cocktail of different influences, as each of the band’s members put their own stamp on the tunes initially created by guitarist and main music writer, Kyle Gilbert. Gilbert in particular loves him some weird shit – mathcore and experimental hardcore. The result is a track that contains so much – funky basslines, a beat you wanna bounce along to, a chorus you can belt out loud with satisfaction, and a vocal range you can’t help but admire.
The opening notes of Run bring to mind the start of a difficult journey, but it’s punchy and determined, like you know you’re going to fight but end up on the winning side. Vocalist Tony Westwood’s cleans are solid – far too in tune and on key for this to be considered punk. And let’s talk about them screams. The lowest of low growls transitioning effortlessly into the highest of high screeches, like playing scales on a heavy metal piano, then dropping back into cleans at will. Coupled with guitarist Gilbert’s haunting yet beautiful backup vocals, a genuine anguish is evoked that does something to knot up your insides. And yet, Gilbert’s guitar riffs, Nick Green’s groovy bass, and drummer Matt V’s bouncy, punky beats pull you back, unmistakeably hinting at hope.
This song is heavy; it’s about anxiety, about the shit life can throw your way, and reminds you of your dark days… But instead of being another emo lament, Run feels like it’s about the fight, about ploughing ahead through the quagmire, and about how it’s the journey through that shit that makes it all worth it. Tidy.