Looking back at the history of hardcore, it’s amazing to see how the scene has evolved from the rudimentary blasts of Minor Threat and Agnostic Front into something more measured and thoughtful. Formed in 2020, Koyo take their cues from Silent Majority and Taking Back Sunday while adding their own unique flavour. Three years in gestation, Koyo’s debut album comes fully formed and is sure to propel the band towards the biggest stages.
Like an elastic band stretched to snapping point and then released, opening shot ‘51st State’ comes bursting from the speakers and immediately makes its present felt via a bombastic production. This is a sound that stomps like a 900lb gorilla, yet lyrics such as “How do you get so thin?” suggest a tenderness, a vulnerability, and the two create an interesting dichotomy between the lithe and heavy, and this tension of opposites will echo throughout Would You Miss It? There’s a groove and swing underpinning many of these songs, rendering cuts such as ‘Life’s A Pill’ very mosh pit inducing, and they’re sure to transfer well to the live environment.
Hailing from Long Island, there’s a certain weight of expectation that comes attached to Koyo. The island had a thriving emo scene in the ‘00s, and that whole scene can’t help but inform the band’s sound. Koyo’s sound is emotive, yet that’s tempered by an air of defiance that comes through in the heavy, hard-hitting drums and makes for an intriguing proposition. Likewise, vocalist Joseph Chiaramonte’s wide range (reminding me of Polar Bear Club’s Jimmy Stadt) flits between clean and raspy, and acting like another instrument adds extra layers of texture.
Would You Miss It? is an album that has been pieced together meticulously, and while this seems counter-intuitive of what we think hardcore music to be, here it works rather well. This is a record that flows smoothly, and in opposition to being a collection of singles, it will reward a full listen to fully appreciate its ebb and flow. Daryl Palumbo (Glassjaw) makes a guest appearance on the explosive ‘Message Like A Bomb’ while Movielife’s Vinnie Caruana adds an emotional edge to ‘What’s Left To Say’, both of whom add additional angles to an already multifaceted listen.
Would You Miss It? The hell you will!
- Would You Miss It? is released via Pure Noise Records on 29th September 2023.
- 51st State
- You’re On The List (Minus One)
- Life’s A Pill
- I Might Not
- Flatline Afternoon
- Sayonara Motel
- Message Like A Bomb
- What’s Left To Say