2021 was a major breakout year for Pridelands. Singles Heavy Tongue and The Walls were on high rotation and they managed to pop a few shows in around the country.
The noise around the band created enough vibrations that they got booking agents overseas in North America and Europe and snagged a spot on Unify to start 2022.
Now Pridelands level up with the debut album Light Bends, an appropriate title for the sound and imagery birthed here. Vocalist/lyricist Joshua Cory has described it as ‘there can be no hope without despair, no love without loss’.
It’s not just the lyrical content that touches this, the music itself pushes the band into the world of extreme emotions as shown with opening track I Reach Into Your Heart which begins in a serene atmosphere before cathartic angst grips you tightly.
The dual vocals of Corey, who delivers the clean to Mason Bunt’s dirty, work in tandem and the band deliver with pummelling precision behind them.
Much of this precision is the work of drummer Joe Lipsham, whose ability to hold it together allows the other members to stretch themselves musically knowing this concrete foundation is behind them.
Beauties such as Translucent Blues, with scream-to-the-sky lyrics and tear jerking guitar melodies, and Parted Time show the bands ability to flow through the dynamics of music while keeping you immersed in the lyrical content of the songs.
Heavy Tongue is about the bushfires that ravaged Australia last year while Parallel Lines, the first track written for the album, display the bands ability to multi layer stories throughout their music.
With the extra time allowed, this album shows Pridelands softer side with great sensitivity , through atmospherics, lone keyboards and gut wrenching lyrics. It also allows that passion and anger to be harnessed to deliver a truly cutting visceral album.
Whether it’s the swinging The Walls or the progressive Safer Here, Pridelands deliver throughout the whole of their debut album.
For a country that in the last decade has unloaded arguably it’s greatest generation of musical metal exports, look no further than Pridelands as flying the flag to lead the next generation.
Album Review By Iain McCallum