SINGLE REVIEW: Alpha – “Hardwired” [2014]

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Artist: Alpha

“Hardwired” – Single


Reigning high above them all, the king of the pack—lord of all he surveys and second to none—there is the alpha male. The big kahuna, numero uno, cream of the crop—you get the point. What isn’t apparent is that, while the Alpha male—a figurative apex predator among his prey—didn’t rise to that position over night, and certainly not without getting their hands dirty. This is where Alpha, newcomers to Dayton’s diverse and densely-packed heavy music scene, come into play. Bursting onto the scene with their debut single under Afflicted Records, “Hardwired,” Alpha prove that they have both the guts and technical know-how to rise to the top of the gutwrenchingly groovy heavy music scene.

“Hardwired” is four minutes of manic, technically dense mayhem. Opening with a deceptive patch of ominous silence, Alpha quickly launch an all-out war on the listener with a series of groove-friendly, riff-heavy punches and jabs that leave the listener bruised and confused. Before long, however, “Hardwired” drops the boxing gloves and goes for the throat—ditching head-bobbing grooves and carefully spliced riffs with disemboweling breakdowns and guttural, grime-laden vocals that completely hollow out the listener’s head. This breakdown continues to devolve, serving as a dissonant, destructive climax to the track, until—just when it seems as if the song is ready to end, vanishing into its self-incited black hole—the tempo jumps up enormously, transitioning smoothly, yet suddenly, into an almost dancey display of melodic mastery. While the vocals maintain a visceral, intense pitch and quick, stabbing candor, the instrumentation feels markedly warmer and draws the song to a sound conclusion. In the span of four minutes, Alpha cover both brutally heavy territory and bouncy, groovy territory alike—proof that with time and refinement, they have what it takes to take the throne of technical and terrifyingly heavy music scenes alike.


For Fans Of: Apex, The Holy Guile, Barrier, Beacons

By: Connor Welsh