The Overseer, Octaves, Transient
122 State St.
West Columbia, SC, 29169
Shai Hulud are arguably one of the hardcore scene's best groups, yet that title seems a bit too hasty considering they have only released one full length album. Hearts Once Nourished with Hope and Compassion is a fantastic album that succinctly wraps up what the late 90's hardcore scene has become, and provides nine songs that are all worthy of becoming anthems for the modern generation. Shai Hulud on the surface may appear to just be a batch of musicians overdosing on testosterone and anger, yet a glimpse at the lyrical content of this album will show something quite different. Blazing with intelligence, daring the listener to actually think, Shai Hulud prove that there is integrity amidst hardcore's abundance of intensity. Anyone half interested in finding out more about hardcore should be given Hearts Once Nourished... as their first lesson. While Shai Hulud may not have pioneered the genre, they certainly deserve recognition for releasing one of the genre's most exquisite masterpieces
When speaking with the members of Arkansas hard rock outfit THE OVERSEER, one phrase comes up time and time again: "In the moment." But it's not because the hotly tipped band wants to focus on the here-and-now. It's because they want to transcend it.
It's become something of a mission statement for the band, the desire to make music that can elevate, that can transport the listener to a place that's emotionally honest ... and that can stir up one hell of a mess in the moshpit, as anyone who's heard their artfully pummeling riffage, savage breakdowns and vocal cord-rupturing vocals can attest. "I'd like to say that the music we write is more than just 'in the moment,'" says vocalist Anthony Rivera. "We're looking to write something that stands the test of time, that people can look back on and still enjoy 10 years from now."
Drawing inspiration from likeminded artists such as THRICE, UNDEROATH and AS I LAY DYING, THE OVERSEER delivers hard-hitting, uncompromising hard rock that belies the members' young age. This isn't "cash in on the latest trend" music, it's "sweat and tears" hard rock, with a little blood thrown in for good measure.
Showing they've got the work ethic as well as the talent it takes to make it in the musical big-leagues, THE OVERSEER have proven themselves to be completely devoted to the rock and roll life, even when it meant hitting the road for 400 grueling days in the last two years as an unsigned band. The relentless push to connect with fans around the country has been a dynamic and rewarding experience for the band - if not always glamorous. "There's really nothing like sleeping in a van in a different Walmart parking lot every night and showering once a week - or less," laughs bassist Bradley Riggs. "Touring is a challenge, but it makes it a lot easier when you can do it with guys who you completely trust in life. We've seen the world together and been through a lot, both great and terrible. We probably know each other better than we know ourselves."
All of that hard work paid off when the band achieved one of the goals the members had set from the beginning - getting signed to Solid State Records, home to so many of the bands that indirectly helped to shape THE OVERSEER's sound. With the ink still drying on the deal, the band set out to do what it does best - work hard. The members headed into Atlanta's Glow in the Dark Studios with Matt McClellan to record an as-yet-untitled debut album - the first taste of which was released to fans in January 2012 in the form of the hard-hitting lead single "Secrets."
Once the album is complete, it will be time for THE OVERSEER to do the OTHER thing they do best: Tour, tour and tour, taking their music and their spiritually-minded message to eager fans. "I expect great things to happen for us over the next few years. We believe in hard work and hopefully we can leave an impression on a our listeners and maybe become a musical influence to them in the future," Riggs says. "We know our most exciting days on the road are to come, and that keeps us moving forward."
Forget living "in the moment." THE OVERSEER are living for the future, and it looks like a bright one indeed.
Octaves was formed in a warehouse in West Baltimore in Fall of 2008, comprised of four lightly-seasoned veterans of the Baltimore and Northeastern US music scene, and one unlikely newcomer at the vocal helm. The quintet began writing together with no real direction in mind, and the result of their musical efforts turned out to sound exactly how the five new-found friends had hoped it would; however they wanted it to.