Good news, everyone, the early 2000s are back! Yes, the time of JNKO jeans and Shrek movies is ripe for a nostalgic rewind, and as two decades have passed, we are now in the unenviable position of looking back to assess the dominant forces of culture that will invariably make us all feel old at this point.
In that spirit, remember if you will a time when screamo was a viable commercial entity. Bands like The Used and At the Drive-In were comfortable integrating screams and dissonant guitar lines into their own personal styles (which, for the record, are vastly different from each other), but true believers like From First to Last and The Blood Brothers carried the torch for post-hardcore music as it adopted a more progressive and aggressive bent. By the end of the decade, the former’s lead singer would transform into Skrillex while the former band fizzled out, signalling an end to the golden age of the genre.
Now, in the far off land of 2021, screamo is holding strong in the minds of emo kinds who still organise DIY underground punk shows, plus a few acts who are trying to keep the post-hardcore genre in the public eye, if not necessarily in the mainstream. That brings us to Leeds lads Static Dress and their new face-melting single ‘sweet’.
Any guesses for how low these guys have detuned their guitars? Drop C, favoured by metal-adjacent bands like System of a Down and HUM? Drop B, favoured by exclusively heavy metal bands like All That Remains and Slipknot? Maybe even to Drop A, the land of sludge metal and doom metal but also fascinating genre hoppers like Melvins and SUNN O)))?
‘Sweet’ mixes melodic, almost pop-punk choruses with gut-punching blasts of drums and full-gain/full-volume string work. I can only speak personally, but I was immediately transported back to the year 2004 when I listened to the track. That makes me believe that the genre it inhabits, of which I like to make fun of a decent amount, has actually had a significant impact and legacy outside its brief dalliance with broader pop culture. I don’t really feel comfortable giving ‘sweet’ a rating, but it certainly made an impact on me, which is always better than being instantly forgettable.
Check out the video for ‘sweet’ down below.