By now, you should be aware of the TikTok-fueled shoegaze revival. The often dreamy genre has woken up and taken the younger generation’s attention. Every week, it seems, I am learning about some new effects heavy band or a new album from one of the great originators of the genre. To a lesser degree, there is a bit of a resurgence in grunge and alt-rock indebted to the early ’90’s sound. There is a place where the two styles converge, a heavier side of shoegaze, a more artsy side of alt-rock. Fleshwater comes to mind as one of the only examples that embrace this heavy, yet dreamy crossroads in the new crowd.

This is changing, though, starting right now. Everything Is Noise is proud to present the debut track from Death By Gong. “Distant” is a heavy and atmospheric piece of alt-rock and post-shoegaze that, while taking notes from some classic bands, showcases the overall nature of this new band’s sound. Check it out!

“Distant” wastes no time getting into it. We are immediately met with colossal sounding drums and deep bass while the guitar drives us into a night covered highway lit only by distant neon signs. Things hush a bit to let the vocals in. Paul Voigtmann (Heads, The Ocean) lets the cymbals do a little more talking in a pleasant shuffle behind the floor shaking kick drum and pronounced snare. Chris Breuer (Heads, Zahn) executes a wonderfully deep and sludgy bass tone throughout the track that calls to mind Brian Cook’s work in SUMAC.  Jobst M. Feit (Radare) wields a melancholy and touching guitar that is simultaneously loud, moody, and subtle, bending tones and emotion to match his lyrics of alienation in a relationship.

There is so much to love in this. I am already a die-hard shoegaze fan, but that sweet spot of alt-rock/shoegaze/grunge is harder to satisfy these days. Thankfully, “Distant” hits the spot. It has the heavy moments of Deftones, Slint, and Failure with some of the introspection of Low and Galaxie 500. I feel the emotional strain that has succumbed to a numbness in each chord, the soft vocals delivering their message amidst a din of almost claustrophobia-inducing intensity. Musically it shakes you to the core, but the mood, like the title suggests, is that of a distant, removed narrator driving out into the blackness, the white lines of the freeway a liberation, tinged by the fading red glow of a tired, sleeping city.

Death By Gong will release a full-length album in 2024 on CrazySane Records. The pre-order will go live here. Also check out Death By Gong on their social media and listen to or save “Distant” on your favorite streaming service here!

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