If you’re angry, disaffected and frustrated, then you’re not the only one. Hardcore punk upstarts Newmeds have been stewing on these emotions in the depths of Hull, but they’re ready to break out – and they might just be your new favourite band. After teasing a handful of standalone singles, their first full EP ‘Nothing Is Heavier Than The Mind’ comes loaded with promise. Let’s just say it packs a real punch. These four guys are making a racket, and you’d better strap yourselves in – their music is as powerful as it is meaningful.
Newmeds formed from the remnants of well-respected bands such as The Colour Line and Winterfylleth, which gives them a certain pedigree – the type you’d find in a fighting dog trapped in an alleyway. If you had the good fortune to cross paths with these former bands you’ll know they were a) incendiary, and b) unpredictable – two traits Newmeds share, both in the live arena and on this recording.
On early singles like ‘Nobody’s Fool’ the band paid a heavy debt to Every Time I Die’s ‘Gutter Phenomenon’ era and Frank Carter’s tenure in Gallows. With this collection, however, they’ve used that sound as a basis rather than a template, injecting it with more fire and ferocity. By channelling all their disillusion and frustration they’ve created a three-song set that, though it originates in a dark place, has enough swagger and style to stand out from the pack.
Armed with a lorryload of riffs, guitarist Mark Wood fills the three tracks with an angular groove that will keep your head bobbing, his licks weighty as he tortures some huge discordant sounds from the strings. He isn’t afraid of a massive breakdown either, especially on the title track, which sweeps in with the power of a tidal wave. His real skill, though, is leaving space for the other instruments to breathe. It makes for an effective and busy sound as there’s always something happening, without it feeling cluttered. This is most notable on ‘Twenty Three’, where he sits back and lets Sam Rudderford’s bass hold the song together while drummer Joe Brodie thrashes around. His pounding really shapes the song while giving it a different flavour to the other two, and it’s notable how each song has the same core sound but feels so different.
Nick Cobley’s throaty voice brings to mind Keith Buckley, but while the Every Time I Die vocalist’s delivery relies on deeply sarcastic lyrics, Cobley aims at a more honest and straight-up style. With a tight scream and a ferocious attitude he can certainly hold his own in a shouting match and on ‘Twenty Three’ he gets that chance, taking part in a back-and-forth with Sam Rudderford. The bassist’s deep rattly scream contrasts brilliantly, creating a huge hook, and the song also sees Cobley tackle his Crohn’s disease, giving the lyrics an emotional weight that really helps drive the chorus home. Following a similar vein, title track ‘Nothing Heavier Than My Mind’ directly tackles depression in a way that is both combative and relatable. Consider how Jeremy Bolm from Touché Amoré digs deep into the worst parts of his life for inspiration and you’ll understand why this works so well.
Closer ‘The High Life’ is the band’s strongest song to date. An anthem for the discontented, it sees Cobley address his feelings of worthlessness while Wood wrestles an angular guitar riff. Screeching in one direction and then another, it is a thrilling and groove-led song that will keep you coming back for more.
Tightly wound and loaded with grievances, Newmeds make a strong impression with their first EP. ‘Nothing Heavier Than My Mind’ is a short and thrilling statement with a mature sound, a rough edge, and whole battery of thrills.