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MMXXIII: a bold foray into different shades of screamo and post hardcore: the new SNAG / COMA REGALIA split breakdown

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In the tumultuous realms of skramz and hardcore, every chord struck and every lyric belted is a testament to raw, unadulterated emotion. Amid this cacophony emerges a split LP, MMXXIII, a sonic soliloquy forged from the collaborative efforts of Milwaukee’s very own Snag and the legendary screamo veterans, Coma Regalia. A journey through a gripping exploration of societal and environmental tempests, it releases this Friday, a day marked to echo in the chronicles of post hardcore.

“The foundation has broken, no warning,” encapsulates the ethos of Snag‘s side of the split. This anxious exclamation dives deep into a tempestuous ocean of sound. With Sam Szymborski’s ethereal guitar melodies, which meander like rivulets through angular riffs and the ambient landscape, one cannot help but be ensnared. Bryan Wysocki’s drums, ferocious and untamed, pounce and reverberate with the intensity of a tempest, creating a sound that feels both visceral and ethereal.

All the while, Peter Murphy’s bass ushers listeners from the sparse terrain of “Evelyn” to the explosive overture of “On the Human Condition.” This is the metamorphosis of Snag, a band reborn from the ashes of pandemic-induced solitude.

Snag: Wielding their instruments like weapons against societal and environmental devastation, each chord screams defiance and each lyric murmurs a plea for salvation.

As the storm of Snag subsides, the atmospheric transition plunges listeners straight into the heart of Coma Regalia’s tempest.

An odyssey that straddles the line between iconic bands like pageninetynine and Bloc Party, Coma Regalia’s half of MMXXIII stands as a monolith challenging the conventions of screamo.

Their tracks, a maelstrom of despair and defiance, are imbued with an energy that feels almost tangible. From the piercing screams to frenetic riffs, Coma Regalia crafts a narrative of disillusionment, an unrelenting dive into the abyss of raw emotion.


Coma Regalia: In the vast expanse of skramz and hardcore, they emerge, not as mere participants, but as pioneers, reshaping and challenging sonic norms.

MMXXIII” is a symphony of sentiments, a resonant experience weaving the sonic fabric of two distinct yet harmoniously intertwined bands.

Both Snag and Coma Regalia have outdone themselves, presenting an opus that not only reverberates in the eardrums but lingers in the soul, leaving an indelible mark on the genre.

We’re pleased to give you a track-by-track commentary from both bands, offering a deep dive into the heart and soul of this release.



Lyrically Snag has rarely been so focused. The opening line, “the foundation has broken, no warning” is the perfect preface to a loose collection of panicked vignettes that grapple with the horrific intersections of social and environmental devastation. “Three degrees centigrade/I’ll fix myself an empty plate,” pleads Murphy on “Lyla,” only to turn to “a desert where there was a lake.” The song ultimately sneers at the suggestion that personal failings are to blame for the systemic issues that burden us all: “I’ll fix myself, I’m broken now,” as if doing so on one’s own would in any way help to solve the climate crisis.


“Tunnels” takes us underground to the derelict tunnel home of someone who has been chewed up and spit out by the economic order: “they’ve given up and locked me away” as dirty stormwater runoff floods their makeshift home. The song opens with ambient textures on guitar and drums, complemented by long-time Snag collaborator John Larkin on trumpets. The ambience quickly gives way to pummeling blasts and low growls from Wysocki.


The narrative arc of the album turns into a furious accusation on “On the Human Condition,” reminding us over a churning throb that every single day that any of us wakes up makes things incrementally worse, no matter what we do. It’s a heavy and devastating revelation of hopelessness, and a departure from the cautious optimism seen on Snag’s previous record, Death Doula. Back then, their message was not to let despair take hold: “to suffer is to exist / persist in defiance;” but today they’ve almost given up: “every day you wake up / you only make it worse.” The song ends with a sample of children’s voices over a tornado siren. The music video accompanying this song deals with suicide and redemption through community, and is a must-watch for anyone who is down with Snag’s social/political disposition.



“Evelyn” begins in shock at the senselessness of gun violence and then draws a direct line from the murder of a friend of the band to the origins of the .556 NATO caliber cartridge that killed her: capture and defense of fossil fuel interests (“the same caliber that stole/ your mother from the world/ was designed to poke holes/ for an empire of oil”. The stark lyrical turn is matched by musical and vocal changes, and this song is almost certainly the conceptual high mark for the band. The melodic gang vocals (about laying flowers on gravestones as sirens fade into the night) that serve as the song’s outro punctuate the song’s central thesis: everything is chaos.


Snag consistently ends their albums with their most epic songs. They also like to bisect their albums with softer instrumental interludes. Snag closes out their side with both in “A Familiar Feeling,” a song that begins with soft acoustic arpeggio and closes with a driving chord progression reminiscent of riding off into the sunset after defeating the final boss of the apocalypse,with guitar riffs that draw inspiration from Meddle-era Pink Floyd, and vocal features from Shannon Taylor of awakebutstillinbed and Edie Quinn of Coma Regalia.


Coma Regalia


From the very first chords of “Initiate Transfer,” Coma Regalia catapults listeners into a whirlwind of despair and defiance. The raw energy that emanates from each anguished scream and frenetic riff is nothing short of gripping. Lyrically, the band delves into the hollowness of societal promises, serving as a stark wake-up call that reverberates with unfiltered emotion.


“Fire/wall” morphs the sonic landscape, weaving intricate guitar work that dances between discordant chaos and heart-rending melody. The lyrics, steeped in metaphors of confinement and shattered dreams, paint a vivid picture of isolation in an unforgiving world. The haunting poetry, “Diamonds in the palm of my hands / I can only crush them in my face,” leaves an indelible mark, a testament to Coma’s visceral lyricism.


“Redirect” introduces a haunting spoken word segment, a moment of contemplation amidst the emotional maelstrom. The juxtaposition of nostalgic yearning and fading memories creates a poignant contrast, reflecting the fleeting nature of hope and longing. The impassioned pleas in “Tell me” resonate as a desperate cry for assurance in a world teetering on the brink of despair.


“Algo Error” serves as a haunting requiem for lost innocence and crushed aspirations. The interplay between tormented lyricism and blistering instrumentation creates a sonic tapestry that is simultaneously brutal and tender, underscoring the album’s thematic complexity.
Closing with “Log Off,” Coma Regalia delivers a devastating conclusion, exploring the harrowing toll of existence in a world driven by relentless machinery.

“MMXXIII” is a masterclass in channeling vulnerability into sonic artistry. Snag and Coma Regalia have crafted an opus that transcends the confines of skramz and hardcore, forging a deeply resonant experience for the listener. This split isn’t just a collection of songs; it’s a visceral, stirring journey that will leave an indelible mark on the genre.

Karol Kamiński

DIY rock music enthusiast and web-zine publisher from Warsaw, Poland. Supporting DIY ethics, local artists and promoting hardcore punk, rock, post rock and alternative music of all kinds via IDIOTEQ online channels.
Contact via [email protected]

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