I forced my mum to listen to the SeeYouSpaceCowboy x If I Die First collab, here’s what she thought
Photo credit: CAMERON NUNEZ
Earlier this week, sharp-tongued sasscore / metalcore / grindcore band SeeYouSpaceCowboy, led by frontwoman Connie Sgarbossa, announced an upcoming five-track split EP in collaboration with fellow MySpace-era revitalisers If I Die First. Titled ‘A Sure Disaster’, the bands have marked the occasion with the release of a collaborative single, ‘bloodstainedeyes’, that has been met with high praise by an audience of ageing emos nostalgic for the bygone eras of their youth.
Heavily reminiscent of the early 2000s, the track skilfully combines the best of metalcore and post-hardcore at their peak, with unrelenting panic chords, multiple breakdowns, abrasive drums, and ear-piercing kvlt screams. This is arguably the best collaborative effort offered from within the alternative scene since ‘King For A Day’ by Pierce The Veil ft Kellin Quinn (of Sleeping With Sirens) established itself as the quintessential emo anthem and set the benchmark for guest features.
Whilst ‘King For A Day’ is unlikely to be dethroned anytime soon, ‘bloodstainedeyes’ does set a new precedence. It’s one thing to take one additional vocalist and seamlessly blend them into a band’s pre-existing formula, but taking 4 vocalists, double the instrumentalists, and still finding a role for everyone in one 5 minute track is enough to rival 9-man band Slipknot’s skills in co-ordination.
‘bloodstainedeyes’ epitomises everything I grew up listening to, much to my parents’ disapproval. With that in mind, I thought it fitting in this 360 degree moment to get my mother’s opinion on the song as someone unfamiliar with any form of heavier music.
Some context on my mum: she’s in her early 50s, grew up on a mixture of 80s pop and 90s techno, is very open-minded and eclectic when it comes to music, but ultimately describes her taste as “would listen to anything, even AC/DC, but not screamo. Never screamo.”
There’s the foreshadowing right there.
I get the music video up without any audio currently in play, but the combination of the song title and band logo fonts in the thumbnail are enough to forbade what’s about to come: cue the eye roll – “if it’s going to be screaming, I don’t want to hear it.”
Too bad, mum. I’ve already decided on the headline of this article.
Her immediate reaction was an as expected, “what is this? Why are they so angry?!” before slowly warming up to, “she [Connie] holds her own.” But the redemption arc came from a second listen and a separate read of the lyrics later: “I mean, I admire their passion, and I guess the lyrics are more poetic than pop.”
In summary: is my mum still hoping it’s just a phase? Yes. Did I convert her into a fan? No. But that’s a big burden to place on just one song after years of opposition to unclean vocals.
Whilst ‘bloodstainedeyes’ may not be bringing in new fans to alternative music anytime soon, for those of us with strong existing ties, SeeYouSpaceCowboy and If I Die First have served and delivered. A fun fireball of emotions, their distinct influences work well as one to add a fresh spin onto the 2005-2010 lost era many of us have not yet curbed are craving for. The song is more than just satisfying a nostalgic appetite, however, but a progression on where post-hardcore abruptly lost momentum, picking back up from where we left off and breathing new life into a scene for a new generation who will, in turn, look back and reference the 2020s as their influential years.
In a move that garners huge anticipation for the release of the full EP, ‘bloodstainedeyes’, is perfect ode to the past and nod to the future of core music.
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