Melted - Self Deflection LP
Melted - Self Deflection LP
*THIS VINYL PRE-ORDER IS EXPECTED TO SHIP LATE MARCH*
Album will be available on digital platforms December 10, 2021
Hailing from Long Beach, Melted play a gritty brand of hardcore-inflected melodic punk that harkens back to the 80s and 90s just as much as it feels distinctly modern. Marked by confessional lyrics and accessible rough-edged vocals, the music of Melted comes off like an army of bottle rockets lit by the saddest person in the world.
Originally forming in 2013, Melted originally consisted of vocalist and guitarist Justin Eckley, bassist Leo Arroyo, and drummer Sam Perez. Their first demo tape, released in February of 2014, demonstrated a scuzzy, garage-punk sound that evoked New Bomb Turks, but with a demented pop sensibility all its own. Their EP Ziptripper followed in 2015, showcasing a slightly more polished approach but still emanating a reckless, cacophonous energy. In January of 2016, the band also released a live tape, culled from a particularly boisterous and ebullient live performance on the KXLU radio station, but it was already apparent that Eckley’s songwriting and vocal work were straining against the confines of their original sound.
Shortly after the KXLU tape, Perez and Arroyo had been replaced by Tommy Gunn on bass and Samson Mankinen on drums. Not only did this new lineup feel demonstrably tighter, more focused, and more aggressive in sound, but the songwriting also began to take shape into something more sharp-edged and personal. Their first full-length, Thin Skin, showed off a huge, fuzzy guitar tone that belied the band’s sticky, singularly West Coast harmonies, while the rhythm section never abandoned its bubbly lockstep. The twin poles of Melted’s personality-- the pop and the aggression-- were, to excuse the pun, melting together in profoundly beautiful ways. Eckley managed to make pointed and highly personal refrains like “Some days I want to die” or songs like “Death Hymn Number 10” sound as infectious as any feel-good summertime beach jam without sacrificing their inherent anger and sadness.
Melted have always had an inherent punkness to their approach to songwriting and performance style, and that was reflected in their local shows, as they shared the stage with bands such as Hot Snakes, noisy provocateurs Flipper, and California punk legends Adolescents, whose brand of snottily furious poppy hardcore feels like a distinct forefather to Melted themselves.
In 2019, the band parted ways with Gunn, and while they have had live members like Ryan Reno joining in on bass and Randy Moore on guitar, they elected to record their latest release, Self Deflection, as a two-piece. This is reflected immediately in the intimacy of opener “Control,” which features some of Eckley’s most bare-faced and sobering personal reflections yet. Complementing the gloomy nature of the lyrics is the band’s most aggressive-sounding and precise performances yet, evoking comparisons to legends of melodic hardcore such as Kid Dynamite and Strike Anywhere.
Self Deflection, despite the self-deprecation (and deflection) of the lyrical approach, is the band’s best and most confident material. Eckley’s vocal harmonies have a raucous emotionality to them, while the guitar has a razor-sharp quality which shares the mix quite well with the clattering, rolling drums and the deeply melodic and driving bass. Every track feels like a standout, and they all have unique identities while sharing an excitability and cohesiveness that serves to make the record feel like an assured mini-masterpiece. At twelve songs, the album blows by in no time, most tracks clocking in at around two or so minutes (with the occasional exception of minute-length furious bruisers like “It’s All For” and “Solace”). If one were to identify a thesis statement to the record, it would be the brilliant “Wraith,” with its beautifully cutting guitar tone, stomping rhythm section, and mournful-yet-triumphant vocal melodies (complemented by the occasional emotional break in Eckley’s deeply passionate voice).
Melted’s final live performance was in March of 2020, right before the COVID-19 pandemic kicked into high gear, once again with spiritual predecessors Adolescents. As the world is slowly beginning to function normally again, Melted is the perfect band to give voice to the sadness, anger, and subtle optimism that define the collective consciousness. If there’s any band that feels the same way as 2021, it would be Melted, and long may they reign. -Ellie Kovach
- Who's To Blame
- Bigger Maggots
- It's All For
- No Use
- Lights Out
- No Good
- Rotten or Haunted or Both
Puke "Dark Green in Coke Bottle Green" /150
Programme Sounds "Half n Half Orange/ Blue" /100