Video Premiere: Blacktracks – “Casual Drugs”

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Disclaimer: I don’t know shit about post-hardcore. I don’t even really know if this is post-hardcore. What the fuck is post-hardcore?

Whatever the answer to that may be and whether or not that’s actually what Blacktracks plays, they’ve successfully reached across the genre divide and pulled me in. Needless to say this isn’t my usual listen, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t one of the most intriguing things I’ve heard all year. “Casual Drugs” sounds like we’re witnessing an existential breakdown in real-time. The instrumentation is somber, quiet, dynamic, a guitar line repeating over a steady marching beat, synth and guitar swelling and fading beneath it as it builds to its breaking point. The vocals similarly ebb and flow between spoken word and raw screaming, bringing a passionate, emotional heft to it. But nothing I say can really do justice to it; better to just listen and let it all wash over you. If you get a little lost in the weeds on the lyrics, vocalist Jake Jerome also provides some insight there:

The song is an ode to the path one takes in self destruction. The honest observance of having a more dependent relationship with a number of different things around you in the same way one might with drugs or alcohol. It’s a visceral mourning to the sense of self one compromises in the spiraling moments of crisis, and a vehement rejection of institutions that exploit people in those moments for monetary or ecclesiastical gain. It’s about feeling completely foreign in your mind & body. It’s about finding solace in a burned bridge rather than severed a tie.

“Casual Drugs” is out today, available on Bandcamp. Be sure to follow Blacktracks on Facebook for more updates on their upcoming full-length, set to release via Blackhouse Records.

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