DWNKILL by @temptatszine
DWNKILL by @temptatszine
New Music

Thrashy hardcore band DWNKILL checks in with debut album, comments on DIY scene in Houston

5 mins read

Every now and then, a band materializes that mysteriously blends a wide-ranging allure with an untamed, do-it-yourself ethos. Houston, Texas-based band, DWNKILL, fits this mould, seizing the attention of a diverse fan base since their genesis and their debut single, “Dark Times“.

In the disarray of 2021, amidst a global pandemic, a world askew, and a society teetering on the brink of isolation, identical twin brothers Jesse and Josh Rodriguez, along with their childhood compatriot Connor Clements, carved out their rebellion. They leveraged the universal language of music, or as they succinctly termed it— “heavy” music. Months of lockdown became their incubator, where creativity thrived amidst the collective chaos, manifesting as visceral songs that bore the unmistakable stamp of their shared tumult.

As the world tentatively unclenched and the Houston DIY scene sprang back to life, DWNKILL was primed and prepared. Armed with an arsenal of rehearsed and honed tracks, they stormed the local scene, leaving a trail of awe and respect in their wake. The band’s nucleus was eventually solidified with the addition of Dylan McEwan on bass guitar.

Fast forward to October 2022, DWNKILL allied with local indie label, Street Noise Productions, to drop a couple of singles and commence work on their debut album, “Time Will Tell“, hitting streaming services online today!

Echoing the gnarly vibrations of the Houston underground scene, Street Noise Productions unabashedly boasts about the treasure trove of talent tucked away in the city’s grimy, graffiti-splashed nooks. This gritty DIY landscape isn’t just the breeding ground of sonic savants—it’s also a testament to the raw, relentless spirit of independent music.

Take the Poserz, for instance—an ebullient trio that’s mastered the art of causing seismic shifts in your auditory palette. Every performance is an earthquake, a raucous riot of rhythm that leaves you bobbing your head and tapping your foot long after the show’s over. They’ve earned their accolades not by following the crowd, but by blazing their trail—a sonic salvo that’s both shocking and splendid.

Meanwhile, The Halfpipes have temporarily receded into the background, retreating to the sanctity of the studio as they painstakingly piece together their sophomore album. Teaming up with Brian Baker at the revered Sound Arts Recording Studio, they’re meticulously laying down tracks that are set to sweep listeners off their feet once again. Even in their silence, The Halfpipes exude an exhilarating promise—the quiet before the storm of their next big hit.

Amongst the cacophony of other emerging talents are It Just Doesn’t Matter, Dante’s Room, Gray Falls, Adult Superstition, and Your Disorder. Each one is a testament to the diversity and dynamism of Houston’s underground scene, a tableau of talents that colour the city’s nights with their unique melodies and thrilling performances.

And if you’re in Houston over a weekend? Well, your plans are made. Hunt down one of these bands. They could be tearing up the stage at one of the city’s beloved, beer-soaked venues—gritty spaces throbbing with loud, ecstatic energy.

Live, DWNKILL’s energy is palpable, immersive, and relentless. The musical trio—Josh, Connor, and Dylan—forge an unyielding wall of sound, igniting mosh pits and provoking spontaneous headbanging. Jesse, the frontman, is an entity in raw fervor, tethered only by the audio cable, hurling himself into the crowd, his vocals a cacophony of cathartic rage.

DWNKILL’s debut album, “Time Will Tell”, is a collection of seven tracks that grapple with existential anxieties, the human condition, and the dystopian realities of contemporary life. The album does more than just narrate the human experience—it dissects it, unravels it, and throws it back at the listener, prompting them to question, reflect, and ultimately, connect.

“Time Will Tell” encapsulates DWNKILL’s quintessence—a potent cocktail of raw emotion, defiance, and introspection. This collection of songs, steeped in reality, resonate on a deeply human level, highlighting DWNKILL as not just musicians, but insightful observers and narrators of the collective human experience.

We sat down with the band to give you a detailed tour through the album, with the band’s track by track commentary below.

Time Will Tell song by song commentary by Jesse Rodriguez:

01 Time Will Tell:

Our opener was titled after a phrase I live by. Time will tell the resolutions for the issues you can’t control. A majority of the songs on this project are anxiety driven. This one specifically is about being on edge and only time will tell if I’ll make it out or not.

02 Dark Times:

Dark times was our first single that had fast paced punk vibes. This is our catchy fun song that people love to mosh too. Josh and Connor were writing this while I was at my brutal dead end day job. I met up with them after my shift and instantly smiled when they showed me it. The lyrics came immediately and genuinely after a long hard day of work

03 Southern Aggression:

The lyrics to this song were inspired by a story my mother told me about someone that we know attempting suicide by cop. When you really don’t care about living anymore and someone is trying to keep you from ending your life, are they trying to save you because they love you, or because they want you to continue suffering?

04 Ambien:

This track was the last song we wrote. The riff was originally written during a jam session at a lake house and then revisited later in the year. We wanted something similar to Vision but with a unique vibe. We came up with a swingy catchy song that our fans love to sing back to us live. This song is about giving any amount of effort that you can when you feel like you can’t go any further in life. These lyrics came to me when I was stressed about a legal position I was in. No matter where you are in life as long as you try, things have the potential of getting better. Whether it’s surviving an almost fatal car crash or a heart break, you have to try.

05 Volia:

Volia is about lying to yourself about not fearing death. Telling yourself you’re eager about something that you dread in order to trick yourself into feeling better. I don’t fear death and personally sometimes, I “can’t wait for it!” Volia is a made up word that we were using as a placeholder that stuck. voh-lee-uh

06 Vision:

This is Dwnkill’s first attempt at pop punk. Vision is one of the very few six string guitar songs that we have. It’s one of our early songs. We wrote it in the middle of a band argument during a writing session. We were writing songs for our first show and some of us wanted to build off of a simple punk power chord riff with fast drums. Connor, our guitar player, had something completely different in mind but didn’t know how to explain it. While we were all going back and forth arguing, he just started playing what would become the main riff for the song and we all started jamming to it. In less than thirty minutes, we had the song structured and ready to roll.

07 Nine:

Nine is about the emotional gymnastics that I would feel if I was forced to protect myself with lethal force. I imagine there’s a back and forth between feeling regret and feeling like a motherfucker who’s not to be fucked with. This track is very gritty and raw. It was the first song we wrote on a seven string guitar. The name comes from the most common caliber handgun in America; a 9mm. We all own one.




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