The New Age bill themselves as a “genre bending heavy rock band…determined to shake the status quo”. It’s an accurate description of a band who are living up to their name and throwing something new into the mix. Their clearly wide influences are fully embraced from all angles on this, their debut album, ‘Placebo’.
A five-piece band hailing from Columbus, Ohio, The New Age blend pop harmonics and beats with the punch and drive of post-hardcore electric guitars and the eerie atmosphere and impassioned vocal delivery of metalcore. The result is a powerful 12 track journey through different genres and styles, fused together by masterful songwriting and slick production. The sound is modern, fresh, and exciting, from the thumping, undulating bass of opener ‘Wicked Friends’ to the dreamy soundscape and desperation of ‘Hunger’, a song which explores the wider themes of society, humanity and mental health. It’s not the only track on the album to have a deeper meaning beneath the surface (see ‘Placebo’ and ‘To Be Alive’) and it’s a message the band are clearly proud of.
‘To Be Alive’ is a vibrant energy filled rocker borrowing more from the metalcore vein of the band’s 2015 EP release, ‘Think Too Much Feel Too Little’. With a catchy chorus and guitar licks that keep the song driving onwards, along with some heartfelt, anguished screams from vocalist Justin Cotton, it’s just one of many highlights on what is an exceptional debut.
It’s refreshing to hear a band who aren’t afraid to push boundaries and don’t restrict themselves based on genre. If one had to put a label on The New Age, alt-rock would cover it, but that barely scratches the surface of the different styles and sounds they’re exploring on this album – post-hardcore, metalcore, pop, even a bit of rap. A solid first release from an exciting band.
‘Placebo’ by The New Age is released on 23rd February.
Words by Bec Simpson.