When you think of Slow Mass, CSTVT, My Dad, and Noumenon—assuming you know they’re some of the best local bands to play emo and mathy indie rock in the past five or ten years—the last things that come to mind are blastbeats, breakneck hardcore, and explosive sludge. But on the brand-new Mourner by Chicago trio Stay Asleep—whose members have played or still play in all four of those bands—you get all that and more. Founded in late 2013, the trio of drummer Dave Collis, bassist-vocalist Nick Wakim, and guitarist Kiel Arneson wanted from day one to step away from their other groups’ introspective approach and return to the heavier sounds of their youth. “Even though each of us have previously played in projects very different from Stay Asleep,” says Collis, “heavy music and hardcore have always been genres of music that we listen to and love.” The result of that return is Mourner, a gloriously chaotic collision of unhinged powerviolence and metallic hardcore.
Mourner is Stay Asleep’s first full-length, and though it’s been in the can since 2016, it’s only finally coming out on Friday, April 13 (via the band’s own Spirit & Discipline label). Former Weekend Nachos guitarist Andy Nelson recorded the album at his studio, Bricktop Recording, a go-to for all sorts of hard and heavy bands. “His prior work, especially with Dead in the Dirt, Weekend Nachos, and Angry Gods, demonstrates how his ear sets him apart from other recording engineers working in hardcore and metal,” says Collis.
Today the band releases “Misanthrope,” a brief but monstrous track from Mourner. Jumping from dizzying grindcore to a furious D-beat stomp and climaxing with a postmetal-flavored half-time breakdown, it’s a whirlwind tour of extreme heaviness crammed into a minute and 40 seconds.
4/18 Kalamazoo, MI at Shakespeare’s
4/19 Toronto, ON at Coalition
4/20 Montreal, QC at Atomic Cafe
4/21 Boston, MA at Democracy Center
4/22 Brooklyn, NY at Saint Vitus
4/23 Philadelphia, PA at Cousin Danny’s
4/24 Washington, D.C. at Slash Run
4/25 Pittsburgh, PA at Rock Room
4/26 Cleveland, OH at Club Atlantis
4/27 Chicago, IL at Margaritaville
4/28 Bloomington, IL at Nightshop
For those of you who can’t wait till April, Stay Asleep play downstairs at Subterranean on Friday, March 30.