According to Google, a supergroup is defined as “an exceptionally successful rock group, in particular one formed by musicians already famous from playing in other groups”. But what do you call a group of rock and hardcore music veterans that are so fiercely talented they create an unfathomably perfect sound…? A megagroup, probably.
Terminology and search engine curiosities aside, when you get Jeremy Bolm, Neeraj Kane, Stephen LaCour and Jay Weinberg in a room, they form Hesitation Wounds. Delivered unto us back in 2012, the band released a harrowingly good EP (via Bolm’s label, Secret Voice) with thematic and political undertones a year after forming. Mind you, this EP came together in just two days. That has to be some sort of world record, right? (Sad spoiler: it’s not.)
At the heart of this band lay frontman Jeremy Bolm. He’s taken the gut-wrenching and obscenely relatable writing style from his preexisting band, Touché Amoré and placed them in a new surrounding adding levels of political themes and keeping true to his own style of expressing heartache and depression through songwriting. Their blend of melodic hardcore and metal flow seamlessly with moments of heavy riffs in a section and aggressive drums in the next, while keeping an energized pace from the first moment of the record to the last note
Bolm has been vocal about how Hesitation Wounds has been an outlet for not just personal themes, but political as well. From first listen, Awake for Everything has a lyrical feel that has also been showcased via Touché Amore with precise execution and spoken word poetry over melodic music. But with further listening, you find that Bolm has brought his writing and anger to a new level of song writing. The personal examination is still there lyrically, layered with issues dealing with not just the battle inside all of us, but the battle we all face outwards with the political issues and corruption that we see on a day to day basis. The layering of these two premises in the record is nothing short of excellent, because it taps into a piece that we all feel, the separation of control.
Even from the album title, Awake For Everything grabs your attention and wants to hear what they have to say. The most politically charged tracks of the record seem to be, ‘Hands Up’ and ‘Guthrie”. With the racial tensions that have been escalating over the past years, it’s easy to understand why musicians have taken a charge in releasing music shedding light on the issues and this track does just that, in a realistic and grounded position. ‘Hands Up’ screams lyrics at us like ‘Another dead body, and we throw our hands up. I’m ashamed of my skin, enough is enough’, and ‘fingers point, lacking empathy’.
And ‘Guthrie’. That is an expression the frustration of political corruption in the country. There is a verse that reminisces a pledge at the end of the track is brutally honest and lingers in your ears, ‘This is the land of opportunity. This is the land of the free. This is the land made for you and me. It’s all bullshit, we can see’. It’s hard not to hear the frustration from the band in these songs in particular, the tracks have a driving force forward as to push the barriers down holding us back. Allowing us to form as one, and make the hate and corruption that has been present in our culture start to fade.
Hesitation Wounds blends the lyrical content of political protest songs backed by the driving force of hardcore music, with confidence. The ideas of fighting against the system and fighting against the pressure of authority has stood the test of time through music, and Hesitation Wounds has made this statement with a loud and effective punch.
Awake For Everything is out May 27th via 6131 Records. Stream their latest crushing single, ‘New Abuse’ below.