Label: Epitaph / Indigo
Defeater has never been afraid to take it to the next level- an initial concept hardcore album has grown into 6 studio releases, each building on the foundation of the other to transcend genre and subject matter, connecting with fans all over the world. The latest chapter in the Defeater universe, their Self-Titled fifth LP, showcases the band at their most fully-realized, and most raw. Defeater (vocalist Derek Archambault, guitarists Jake Woodruff and Adam Crowe, bassist Michael Poulin, and drummer Joe Longobardi) has had a good run already.
However, it's also been a long road. Years of touring took their toll on the friends that make up the current lineup- family, health, and substance abuse issues, and ejecting a longtime member, made a touring hiatus necessary. After a few months at home, working and decompressing, the fire to write a new record caught everyone in a major way.
With members scattered across the US and Europe playing in multiple other projects, the songs were traded remotely at first. Every few months the group got together to synthesize and distill their ideas. The process let the songs marinate and mature, while retaining their spontaneity. This was a first for a band usually forced into shorter writing sessions, and led to the most organic batch of songs yet- songs that stretch the boundaries of the group while remaining classically "Defeater". The instrumentation is complimented by a new narrative approach, inhabiting Archambault's own "Glass family" (an homage to the J.D. Salinger characters) in a more enigmatic way.
To capture the songs that would become "Defeater", the band partnered with producer/engineer/force of nature Will Yip (Quicksand, La Dispute, Blacklisted, Ms. Lauren Hill) whose enthusiasm and talent pushed the songs to their fullest potential. What emerged from these sessions is the most devastating, yet sonically arresting, Defeater record to date. It's as pummeling as it is atmospheric, showcasing a band continually rediscovering itself and still hungry.
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Label: Epitaph Records / Indigo
Boston hardcore act Defeater will release their fourth studio album, Abandoned, on August 28 on Epitaph.
Unlike most bands—and especially most hardcore bands— Defeater don’t write songs so much as they write histories, and specifically the history of a never-named New Jersey family whose already troubled lives disintegrate into torment, rendered all the more tragic for the depth and detail of singer Derek Archambault’s lyrics. Abandoned is the most relentlessly raw and uncompromising chapter so far, powered by a renewed sense of artistic ambition and a plot twist no one expected.
Abandoned was written and recorded in a welcome period of relief in Archambault’s life, after he’d finally received a life-changing surgery that repaired severe hip damage he suffered in an injury. Archambault’s surgery, he says, allowed him to redouble his connection with his own writing, leaving him clear to truly inhabit what he calls his own Glass family—after the famous J.D. Salinger characters. The new album chronicles the story of a lapsed Catholic priest, whose battles in Europe during the war drag him first toward faith and then his own poisonous faithlessness.
Archambault states: "One of the threads running through this record is how people sometimes look for the answers to their problems in the darkest places."
The new album was recorded earlier this year at guitarist Jay Maas’ studio, with drummer Joe Longobardi, bassist Mike Poulin and guitarist Jake Woodruff. For the newly introduced to Defeater, their debut Travels started the story with the younger brother, a lifelong misfit forced to kill his father in defense of his mother, and forced to live with the consequences no matter how far he runs. Sophomore album Empty Days followed the older brother, dazed from the death of his father and fighting as his life dissolves into drinking and debt. And most recent album Letters Home was a surprisingly compassionate look at the father and his experiences overseas in World War II, presented in a reverse-chronological order that transformed the monster from Travels back into the man he once was