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Photo Credit: Matt Bass Media
There are a lot of genre tags thrown around when it comes to the music of The Endorphins. Some call it psych-punk, others label it grunge or new grunge, and some latch on to the whole alt-rock thing. However it’s labeled is up to the listener, but at the core, The Endorphins are a rock and roll band making rock and roll for the modern day, and their sophomore album Nothing Is Real, which The Big Takeover is premiering today, is an adrenalized jaunt through the paranoia and fears of the modern day, a fuzzed-out observation of society and what it’s done to us as people.
“It’s getting harder and harder to tell what’s real anymore,” says guitarist and vocalist Matt Bass. “It feels like honesty and integrity are becoming less and less prevalent. There are a lot of things outside of our control; this record pulls a lot of the feelings we have as a band.”
Fueled by endless bottles of Topo Chico and recorded at The Bridge Sounds & Stage in Cambridge, Massachusetts with producer Alex Allinson, The Endorphins’ new album is a blistering rock record spewing high-impact waves of fuzz, taking its title of Nothing Is Real, from a lyric in October single “Myopic Dystopia.” In September, The Endorphins released lead single “Voyager Of A Daydream”, a sonic cruiser that earned the quartet quick comparisons to early Queen of the Stone Age, Hüsker Dü, and Foo Fighters. What followed was “Myopic Dystopia,” a blistering guitar-rock rager that spoke – and screamed – freely about how algorithms and the need for digital content are impacting the creative outputs of artists, and changing how we view creativity.
“Musically, we feel the dynamics and high impact waves of fuzz in both fit together nicely,” says guitarist Jordan Scarborough. “Lyrically they both share similar themes and help express a lot of the feelings found throughout the rest of the record.”
Throughout Nothing Is Real, similar themes blossom under a heavy wave of psychedelic fuzz and punk urgency. The crushing “Propagate” explores artificial intelligence and its increasing proliferation of society, and the mountainous rumble of “Paresthesia” channels how our dreams often differ from reality. Themes of futurism and psychology run rampant over the record’s frantic 47 minutes, closed out on “Inside Of The Perpetual Synopsis” by Bass playing a late-’60s Fender Rhodes through a Death By Audio FUZZ War pedal.
“Music that touches on some of the more existential themes of life and reality is ok sometimes; music and art is meant to challenge you and make you re-examine things,” Bass adds. “So much of what we see these days is served up on a platter, catered to exactly what they think we want to see and hear, that doesn’t always need to be the case.”
In the end, Nothing Is Real contrasts its moniker – the album is a living, breathing beast that’s all too real, the propulsive sound of The Endorphins raging out of the speakers and echoing the looming sense of dread that hangs over our every move. Depending on what happens over the next few years, it’ll either soundtrack the end times, or warn us of what, exactly, we need to steer clear of. It’s Choose Your Own Adventure compass set to rock and roll – and the ultimate end game is up to the listener.
“We just hope to convey a message about the times we live in,” Scarborough concludes, “but leave it vague enough for the listeners to interpret it however they please.”