Power Trip recently (okay it might have been a few months ago) released a brand new non-album single via Adult Swim’s 2018 Singles program. While the group delivered their devastating triumph sophomore effort back in 2017, Nightmare Logic has certainly been spun to death since then. Our Lone Star State crossover thrashers have got a lot to prove, and if their eventual third full-length is of similar spectacular quality to their first two albums, the quintet will surely be sprung into mainstream fame. However, to satiate your unresolvable desire to get your hands on a new Power Trip LP, the band has cooked up a hot one for you crazed fans.
Photo credit: Kevin Astrada
Adult Swim’s Singles program first came into my view when Sleep released their “Leagues Beneath” single earlier during the summer, just a few weeks after the group came out with their surprise fourth full-length The Sciences. Shortly after, Power Trip released “Hornet’s Nest” via the program as well.
The gimmick behind the network’s singles program lies behind its variety and secretive nature. For those who don’t know (and myself a few seconds ago because I had to Google this) Adult Swim is the Cartoon Network’s nighttime partner in crime, offering the TV station a platform to host more adult-oriented content. Adult Swim has also branched out within the realm of internet articles, podcasts, and music.
Their biggest contribution to the world of audial enjoyment is by far the yearly singles release program. The endeavour aims to release one single from different artists every week. The beauty of their approach is that they feature a wide array of genres, ranging from metal to rap to electronic. While a semi-complete schedule can be found online, most of their weekly song releases are either dropped prior to any form of announcement, or via a subtle hint from the artist a few days earlier. So, in similar fashion to their handling of The Sciences, Sleep didn’t give anyone any prior notice of a new 16-minute long song releasing on Adult Swim’s website; and when the prolific Sleep releases new material, news spreads like wildfire (insert marijuana joke) around the internet. Power Trip’s “Hornet’s Nest” debuted a month-or-so later, with the only heads-up being an Instagram story teaser featured on the group’s account the day before simply saying “check Adult Swim tomorrow”.
The group’s brand new song clocks in at just over four minutes in length, and for good reason. Opening with a left-to-right channel shifting guitar effort which flows into a typically-aggressive riff, the song offers a metal barrage right off the bat, and doesn’t let up (come on, its Power Trip, did you really think it was going to let up?). We’re then introduced to Riley Gale’s signature barking vocals, which undoubtedly serve as one of the release’s highlights.
The most enjoyable factor for me, however, lies behind the chorus and how its straddles the line between being overtly catchy and being well, not catchy. Partnering with the guitar and percussion work during these sections, the vocals are altogether ready to be unleashed, as well as refrained. What exudes out of this fateful dichotomy is a rowdy vocalist anticipating his cue to shout, and a listener teased with bursts of energy. The chorus works really well!
However, the song is a little too “chuggy” for me, as most of the track’s dominant riffs are built around the stereotypical thrash guitar pattern which relies on the fast picking of one note with a slight timed variation every couple of seconds (think the opening riff to Slayer’s “Angel of Death”). Of course I cite one of the most famous and beloved metal songs for a reference to a negativity, but I feel like the abundance of riffs which rely on this style deduce the track to a simpler song. Of course, simple doesn’t inherently mean poor, its just a little repetitive for my tastes. “Hornet’s Nest” still rips, but I can see why it was used as a non-album single.
Ultimately, the song is a bone tossed at us savage beasts who drool in anticipation of a fresh taste of Power Trip’s crossover-thrash deliciousness. While the track does feel like it was cut from either their first or second album, “Hornet’s Nest” still stands strong among the best of ‘em. I haven’t necessarily listened to the track following its release, but that’s more-so to do with it being fairly out of reach (I don’t think its on Spotify, and I won’t pull up a YouTube video every time I want to listen to the song, its just not worth it). However, if the track gets tacked on as a B side of a future single or perhaps on some compilation (I’m looking at you Opening Fire: 2008-2014, I want you pressed on vinyl!), I would gladly listen to it. A fair release from a group that is absolutely on fire right now; be it on stage or in the studio. If you’ve slept on this track, take a listen and perhaps download it for your morning commute, its guaranteed to shave off at least 10% of your travel time, assuming you’re walking.