Ugly & Proud Records (Bulgaria), Nuclear Family Records (UK) & In My Heart Empire (Spain) are proud to present “Weight Of The World“, the newest EP from Edinburgh based youth crew infused hardcore punk act AFTERBURN! Today, we have teamed up with the band to give you its first full listen of this high-octane offering, spiced up with the band’s first hand commentary about their band, their lyrical content, their take on touring amidst the pandemic, political protests around the world, and more. See the full story below.
For fans of: Alert, Youth of Today, Go It Alone
“Myself (David) and Luke have been in bands together for 8 years (War Charge, Deceit, Slowmove), and I love everything he writes on guitar and work really well together with him. The band initially went through a few lineup changes as I’d started on bass before moving to vocals, we got Den (Kingpin GHC, Eviscerate AD) in on drums, and then needed to find a bassist to complete the lineup. Previously, myself and Luke had a practice with a couple of the guys from World Truth to start a new band which didn’t work out but we loved Joe’s bass playing and asked him to join Afterburn.
From there, we recorded our first EP “Open Eyes Long Blinded” in Glasgow with George Henry and played a bunch of shows whilst continuing to write.
“Weight Of The World” EP
“I think we found our sound a bit more on this record, I’ve done backing vocals in most of the bands I’ve played in but this is my first time really fronting a band and it’s taken a while to get used to. Musically, it’s about trying to go back to basics hardcore riffs with (hopefully) catchy hooks. Lyrically, it’s just clearing out my head and hoping people can relate. End of the day, we’re writing music we enjoy and would listen to ourselves.” – offers the band.
Asked about the content behind their lyrics, the band’s vocalist commented: “Most of my lyrics deal with mental health. I know it can seem it’s the “go to topic” these days but I don’t think it can be talked about enough and generally, the cathartic process you get writing lyrics helps a lot and it’s the hope – as cheesy as it sounds – that it’ll help others.
In my early years, I wasn’t able to open up at all which left me nearly spontaneously combusting multiple times but seeing more and more people speak out helped me a lot.”
Track by track commentary
Chained is pretty self explanatory; not wanting to be here but not having a choice.
Everyone has their own thoughts on suicide but I genuinely think at least in my case, if it wasn’t for the effect it’d have on my family and friends, I wouldn’t be here. It may seem like a negative way of looking at things but it’s what makes sense in my head and if this clicks with anyone else, then hopefully that helps someone.
Forced Doubt is more about people continuing negative traits as it’s the easiest path and being reluctant to change. This song’s about trying to push them out of that routine and onto a more positive path.
Weight of the World is about our reliance on others to help us continue with our day-to-day lives, looking back on friendships and relationships from the past that didn’t work out, and getting trapped inside your mind going over every conversation, trying to figure out what went wrong or what you did.
Stand and Fight is about being pissed off at the things we see wrong with the world everyday. How much easier it is to ignore it and pretend these issues don’t exist than stand and learn from them or try to fix it.
“Ideally we’d just like to play shows as far and wide as possible. I used to play a lot of shows in Europe and would love to do that as soon as possible and I also previously had the opportunity to do 3 weeks in Asia which was one of the best experiences of my life, so I’d love to take Afterburn over there if we ever get the chance.
We had our first shows in England booked playing Bradford & Huddersfield with some really sick bands in April but unfortunately everything went into lockdown a few weeks before, so they got pulled.
We’d just love to play as many shows wherever we can.”
“Obviously we had a few shows cancelled, but it’s nothing in comparison to the effect this has had on the events and arts sector. The UK government’s reaction has been inexcusable with the lack of funding and care for an industry that brings in so much money. People think it’s “just a few festivals less to get pissed at”, but it’s crew, sound engineers, artists, booking agents, lighting engineers, etc that are all suffering as this is their full time job and they’re not being looked after.
I think with everything going on, once we have the choice to return to live music (as long as the venues are still there) that people will realise what a privilege it is to have access to and take full advantage of this so I hope we get to play as often as possible. Stage 1 and 2 for the return of live music is purely digital with recorded performances & livestreams, so I’ll be working with friends to film sets and do this for as many bands as possible.
Another thing I think we’ve seen as well is how little bosses actually care for their staff throughout this, especially rushing them back into unsafe workplaces. I know a lot of people are without work at the moment but it’s just something else I think should be highlighted.
The George Floyd and other anti-racist and anti-violence protests
“I think a lot of people have had their eyes forced open with everything going on, myself included. We may have thought we knew the injustices people were facing, but the surface has barely been scratched with what’s being reported on mainstream news sites compared to what we’re seeing on social media.
We’ve seen police attacking people for no reason, breaking into their homes, continually breaking laws like destroying medical tents and attacking the people inside. These people should have been safe under Medical Neutrality – it’s illegal to even do it to enemy nations, let alone on your own home soil, and people are being fucking lynched with next to no investigation? It’s insanity.
Just recently, Lyda Krewson – the mayor of St Louis – read out the names and addresses of protestors that want to defund the police live on a Facebook livestream. She’s since apologised but this was a targeted attack, telling the far right where these people live and where to get to them.
𝐼 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑘 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑦𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑔𝑜𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑜𝑛, 𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑐𝑎𝑛 𝑑𝑜 𝑖𝑠 𝑡𝑟𝑦 𝑡𝑜 𝑒𝑑𝑢𝑐𝑎𝑡𝑒 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑓 𝑎𝑠 𝑚𝑢𝑐ℎ 𝑎𝑠 𝑝𝑜𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑏𝑙𝑒.
Keep talking about it, keep signing petitions and just do as much as you can. A lot of bands/labels within the hardcore community have made multiple fundraisers including Loathe, UKHC 4 Change, BDHW Records x Injustice Records, Triple B Records and loads more.
There will always be idiots arguing on the side of the far right, but a lot of the time, they’re not going to listen if you shout just as loudly as they do. If you have the patience, the ability, and the safety, try to get into a discussion with them, find out where these thoughts and ideologies came from. So often it’s generational and something that’s been passed on from parents and/or grandparents to kids who’re having these views forced on them until they’re old enough to think for themselves and often, instead of doing that, they just continue on the same path. It’s unlikely you’re going to change someone’s world view, but with enough plain facts, you never know.
Another thing I think is really important to point out is the work that Sunny (Hate5Six) has been putting in with documentation of the riots as well as fundraising. He was out on the frontlines in Philadelphia when peaceful protestors were herded into a trap and filmed the entire thing, not only highlighting it to his massive fan base but it also ended up being used in news reports which pushed it out to a larger audience.
I’m talking from a place of privilege though, I can see all this from the outside, but I haven’t experienced it.”
𝐴𝑙𝑙 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑐𝑎𝑛 𝑑𝑜 𝑖𝑠 𝑏𝑒 𝑎𝑛 𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦, 𝑠𝑖𝑔𝑛𝑎𝑙 𝑏𝑜𝑜𝑠𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑣𝑜𝑖𝑐𝑒𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑠𝑒 𝑎𝑓𝑓𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑒𝑑, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑠𝑝𝑒𝑎𝑘 𝑜𝑢𝑡.
Edinburgh / Glasgow hardcore
“The majority of us are from Edinburgh but there really isn’t a hardcore scene here. The one thing we do have is a night called Subversiv which does monthly hardcore and punk nights and the cool thing is that they encompass all elements of the punk genre and have far more mixed bills than you’d usually see.
Mainly though, our local scene is Glasgow. It ebbs and flows but we continually have great bands making the 5 hour trip to Scotland on tours from Leeds/Manchester the day before because generally it’s always a great crowd. The last few months, we’d see maybe 1 or 2 hardcore shows a month which means they’re generally always well attended.
Generally for the bands, it’s just a different combination of the same people in bands and at the moment it is leaning more towards metalcore or metallic hardcore which I love, but it’s also part of the reason we wanted to do Afterburn and bring back the fast riffy hardcore we initially fell in love with.
Other bands worth a check:
Vent : a combination of so many styles, like Full of Hell tone meets some Turnstile groove, with the sickest vocals in the world.
Greed : I love seeing this band, a bunch of the nicest dudes in the world but the music is so heavy and James is fucking terrifying onstage as his vocals are so heavy.
Lawful Killing : I’ve only managed to catch them once – I was meant to see them again in Glasgow with Show Me The Body but it got pulled. Incredible raw hardcore punk from London and Ben’s vocals and stage presence are so good.
Mastermind : I got asked by Ola at Quality Control HQ to make up some video promos for the new EP & after listening I couldn’t get Bad Reaction out of my head for about 2 months, super sick and catchy riffs hardcore.
Generation : Incredible band from Manchester, they came straight out with an LP which is called “Call it a Life”. FFO : Dag Nasty, Rites of Spring etc with members of Insist/Survival.
No One Cares – When we were in Indonesia, we played a 1000 person show in Medan, which was insane. These guys were playing when we got to the venue and they started playing Leeway, to which our vocalist immediately ran off the stage. They’ve got an EP called Serpent Soul that is untouchable from start to finish. I stay in touch with their vocalist and they’re recording at the minute and I cannot wait to see what they come out with next.
Slowmove : Biased but all of us + Gemma of Vent have another band called Slowmove which is more FFO : Citizen, Basement. We released a single during lockdown and everyone’s been so kind about it, I can’t wait to record more when we’re allowed back into the studio.
Afterburn’s Top 10 Albums
Bad Brains – ST – Bad Brains ST was the first hardcore album I got into and they also touched my love of reggae and a lot of the songs spoke to me. But musically, a perfect mix of hardcore punk and reggae.
Nas – Illmatic – Illmatic again spoke to me lyrically, the beats are consistent and it still gets played. Subjects about the black struggle, how it was to grow up in the streets, lets say, folk love poems, rap lyrics are poems to me and Nas is one of more real out there. Basically, to me, there’s a lot of parallels between hardcore and hip-hop. Very similar lyrically and in attitude.
Deftones – White Pony – First time I ever heard a band that could be as intricate as they could heavy, a perfect mix of emotions I could relate to as a wee guy just starting high school.
The Cure – Disintegration – Robert fucking Smith.
Glassjaw – Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence – The album that got me into heavy music, I’d listened to other bands before that were heavy, but this is just on another level. Daryl Palumbo’s vocals blow me away every time with the seamless transitions from clean singing to screaming. My first band covered the weirdest shit, from Arctic Monkeys, The Early November, and then we covered Piano by Glassjaw.
No Warning – Ill Blood – The album that cemented my love of hardcore. Start to finish, every song is incredible. I’ll never forget playing with No Turning Back and Risk It in Lauter (Germany) and back to back, we both ended up covering Short Fuse but it just meant there were people that knew all the words in the audience at all times.
Bloc Party – Silent Alarm – A perfect album from start to finish, an album I always come back to and never grow sick of.
Youth of Today – Break Down The Walls – I remember listening to this album for the very first time and absorbing every piece of the raw, amazing energy coming out of the speakers.
Texas is The Reason- Do you know who you are? – Teleports me back to the 90’s, when Iife was easier! Emo nostalgia.
Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream – Because it’s quite heavy (moderately heavy) and atmospheric at the same. Seems like the perfect combination to me.