WORST SELF photo - Michigan hardcore - photo by Sam Rottschafer
WORST SELF photo - Michigan hardcore - photo by Sam Rottschafer
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“Everyone Is Replaceable” – Michigan hardcore band WORST SELF premiere new EP; offer commentary

4 mins read

Introduced to myself by Eric Scobie from Dropping Bombs label and GREAT REVERSALS, Michigan hard hitting hardcore band WORST SELF instantly caught my ear with their heavy yet reflective nature. Their new EP “Everyone is Replaceable” documents tragic failures, brushes with death, and ultimately; personal redemption. Recorded by Andy Nelson, mastered by Brad Boatright, and mixed by the band itself, the collosal production work perfectly captures the weight and intensity of the albums’ subject matter, and you can hear it in its entirety below! Play it loud and scroll down to see the band’s first hand track by track breakdown!

“If there’s blood in my veins. If there’s air in my lungs. I will be the living proof.” This record is a constant reminder to never forget where I’ve been and to constantly be striving to be better than I was yesterday. I’m not perfect but moving forward does not require perfection. It requires commitment to yourself and the ones that love and depend on you. I will forever be reminded of what could have been. Sometimes it takes your life being turned upside down for you to truly see the vices that are holding down. These songs remind me that Everyone is replaceable.

The music was tracked in Chicago IL, at Bricktop Recording with Andy Nelson. Additional recording took place in Grand Rapids Michigan at Featured Audio with Troy Otte. Mixing was done by the band’s bassist/lead singer Joel Otte. Mastering at Audio Siege by Brad Boatright. 100 clear vinyl are coming out on Dropping Bombs with 2 variant screen printed art on the B side. 50 cassettes are coming out on Worst Records this winter.

Everyone Is Replaceable

EIR was originally going to just be a quick intro for the EP. But as I was writing it it just kind of took its own form. This band is very bass driven so we set the tone for the record musically with this song. There is also a bunch of synth and piano that really make the beginning for the song very interesting. Lyrically this song also sets the tone. “I said I was sorry, a thousand times. Not going to cut this time.” This song is me reflecting on the choices I made and getting ready for the shit to hit the fan. It’s a wake up call. “I’m learning everyone is replaceable.”

Burn It Down

Musically this was the first song we started working on for the EP. It’s fun and fast and heavy. From some fast punky parts, to a as NU metal of a breakdown as your going to get from a hardcore band. Listen closely for some circa 2005 metalcore keyboards sounds. The lyrics are about a promise made that was broken. This album is about addiction and recovery and overcoming the obstacles in your way. But this song is where my addiction to alcohol almost cost me my life. When reality hits and you’re facing the consequences, it makes you really take a hard look at yourself. “I don’t toe the line. I fucking cross it.” Once I start I don’t stop. Burn it down to me is me owning up to the choices I made. No answers yet just owning up to and accepting what I’ve done. “Now it’s all comes crashing down.”

Sink or Swim

If you like phaser on your guitar then this song is for you. A short banger. Had Snapcase in mind when writing this one. Sink or Swim is about my struggle with anxiety. I didn’t realize how much I was using alcohol to cope with my anxiety. “I see you for what you are.” I tried for a while to deny that I was having anxiety. It was only in accepting it and taking a look at it and calling it what it was that I’m able to deal with it. Really you only have two choices Sink or Swim.

Went Away

This song was hashed out in the studio. Some heavy Nine Inch Nails worship going at the end. The first 3 songs are fast and heavy so we wanted to slow things down just a bit. The lyrics are simple on this one “I went away.”

Living Proof

Musically this song has a bit of everything. I was trying to channel what made me excited about hardcore when I was 18 years old. I wanted the song to be interesting and very heavy. The middle section has some serious NU vibes going on. Same with the end jam. If we are not having fun in this band then we aren’t going to do it. Lyrically this song is about reflecting on what could have happened. Also processing feelings of guilt and shame. But ultimately this song is about overcoming the obstacles that are in your way. I’m not dead yet. “I will be the living proof.”

I Failed You

This one is heavy. Also the first song written for the EP. A lot changed about it but the beginning drums and bass stayed the same. Wanted to write a song that really featured the drums and bass. I love how when the guitars come in the whole song just opens up. This song is dark. It reinforces the feeling of shame and guilt from Living Proof.

My Way

This song is just relentlessly heavy. The record goes from heavy to heaviest it seems. Again this songs features some great HM-2 guitar tone. For the lyrics I wanted to end the EP on an uplifting note. This record goes to a lot of dark places and it was time to shine some light in. “Nothing can stop us now.” It just feels good to scream that. I recently watched a Mr. Rogers documentary and his positive talk was really something inspirational that I took away from it. “There is no like me. No one can do what I do.” These lines could come off as cocky or arrogant but they are really just me affirming myself. I hope that everyone who listens to this record can join me in saying “I will be ok.” We make mistakes, but we get to choose what we do with that. I’m choosing to move forward.

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