The Grindhouse | Palooka, Srai, Unshine & More New Loudness

And so it begins again: Welcome to another year in the Grindhouse — and another onslaught of malevolent musical mayhem, slamming you right between your beady little eyes. Here are the latest worthy metal and hard rockin’ offerings to menace my inbox. Gird your loins (or whatever else requires girding):


Palooka | Save Yourself

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Palooka deliver big thick two-guitar rock the way God intended it. Hailing from Seattle, singer Chuck Campbell belts out melody lines full of emotion and purpose with tenacity. Chris Quinn and Glen Logan trade flurries of devastating and searing guitar punches reminiscent of a barroom brawl. All of which sits on the rock-solid pounding foundation built on the talents of Howard Binner on bass and the percussive mauler Jason Reavis on drums. Their forthcoming EP Save Yourself promises to deliver the heavy dose of rock that you need. Get a first look with the title track. The band say: “Save Yourself speaks to those moments in life where one comes to the realization that the way through a particular event or situation is purely up to us as individuals. The metaphoric cavalry isn’t coming, we are on our own and the only way forward is through.”

Srai | Faith

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Discover the boundless sounds of Srai, a Kuwaiti heavy band that illuminate the way with their music. They are one of the few acts in the region playing rock ’n’ roll and they are proud to be trailblazers in that regard. They have released a handful of singles so far; their latest, Faith, showcases their blend of metalcore, and modern metal. They say: “The song Faith and the music video have a deep meaning, the song describes how hard life can be, and no matter how much life throws at you, you must fight back your demons and get back on your feet. Join us on this musical journey as we combine our passion for rock and storytelling, using our songs as beacons of light in a world that knows no bounds. Let Srai’s music be your guiding light!”

Unshine | Hjul

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Karn of Burnings will be the fifth studio album from extraordinary druid metal band Unshine. Due in March, Karn of Burnings assures an enthralling voyage delving into the realms of pre-modern human existence and posthuman metaphors, characterized by their signature blend of melodic Nordic folk elements and the ethereal vocals of Susanna Vesilahti. Check out the first single Hjul and its accompanying video. Says guitarist Harri Hautala: “A ritualistic composition in both its musical and lyrical tautology, Hjul mirrors the cyclical nature of seasons and mythical themes. Like the changing seasons in the cycle of the year, the musical and mythical themes and names recur again and again, creating a mesmerizing experience for the listener.”

Striker | Best Of The Best Of The Best

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Want to see how The Best of The Best of The Best shred guitar with speed and headbanging finesse? Check out Canadian heavy metal champs Striker and their new playthrough. Tim Brown and John Simon Fallon rip it up for this single off their forthcoming album Ultrapower, out Feb. 2. Says Fallon: “If you’re not simultaneously leaping into the bed of a truck while it’s doing a burnout as you rip through a killer riff, are you even shredding?”

Bring Me The Horizon | Kool-Aid

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The mighty Bring Me The Horizon kick off 2024 with the release of a mammoth new single Kool-Aid. The band had a monumental 2023 that comprised of a plethora of sold-out shows (including their triumphant headline performance at Download), the Fall Out Boy stadium U.S. tour and most recently a tour of Asia and headline slot at NEX_FEST Japan, which they also curated. They are set to smash more milestones this year with a sold-out U.K. tour that includes two nights at the O2 (selling over 110K tickets the first day they went on sale). Their highly anticipated new studio album, Post Human: NeX GEn will also be released this year.”

Eshtadur | Fire Above Mountain Below

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Guitarist Jorg August of Colombian melodic death metal quartet Eshtadur unlocks the wisdom of his band’s newest single Fire Above Mountain Below. Jorg comments: “Fire Above Mountain Below conjures the ancient wisdom of the pre-Colombian tribes, phrasing 6/8 as a bambuco (Colombian folk rhythm) counterparts both guitars as the mystical connection that the mountain and the fire emerge in powerful magical forces.” Fire Above Mountain Below also incorporates traditional Colombian folk instruments like the Tiple, adding a distinctive cultural layer to Eshtadur’s music. The song tells the tale of a time long past when ancient mountain tribes lived in harmony with nature until Christianized settlers brought forth a dark chapter, displacing and even annihilating these tribes in pursuit of wealth and power.”

Deorbit | Deorbit

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Unveiling their debut album Retrogradient this past November, Milwaukee’s Deorbit offer up depictions of surreal aspects from the mind of guitarist Jerry Hauppa, with each track merging cold aspects of the expanding universe with the organic familiarity of human understanding. Today, Hauppa offers a lesson in technical prowess with the video for the band’s self-titled track. He says: “A gradual falling-out of the gravitational pull of the sun, shown in the note and tempo choices. The record ends on a mournful yet hopeful note, showing that the system we were bound to may have inhibited its full potential.”

Stages of Decomposition | What Lies Within

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Since the band’s inception, Stages of Decomposition, led by former guitarist Richard Villanueva, have become a formidable force in the extreme music scene. From gracing stages at renowned festivals to a coast-to-coast U.S. tour in under 10 days, the band has left an indelible mark on the circuit. Their second album Raptures of Psychopathy threatens to burrow into your brain like a death metal worm and liquefy it with brutal riffs, chaotic blast beats and adrenaline-invoking time signatures that convey the terror and psychological aspects of the stories told. The next single What Lies Within is not for the faint of heart, as the band explain: “What Lies Within is a song about someone struggling with inner hate for humans where they don’t hold anything back to demoralize them and degrade them in such a way that he gains absolute control and advantage over them. In a way, this really digs into the album name of Raptures of Psychopathy. This song offers a glimpse into a mind harrowed by demons and the need for power/control through forced sex.”

The Requiem | Kill The Lights

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “South Florida alt rock band The Requiem — vocalist Damien, guitarist Felipe and bassist Salem — will release their debut album A Cure to Poison the World on Feb. 16. Today, the band share the lyric video for Kill The Lights. Here, they show off their alt-rock chops and capture the essence of post-hardcore tension and release. Push-and-pull riffing and emotive vocals carry the track forward. It’s a deceptively simple song that packs a lot of palpable emotion into just a few minutes. They say: “Kill The Lights is about the feeling of resentment and disgust some of us get at a young age towards our environment, people, and difficult situations we’ve been inadvertently brought up on.”