SINGLE REVIEW EXCLUSIVE: Villains – “Problem Child” [2014]


Artist: Villains

Single: Problem Child


Unwanted, unnoticed, unloved. You died the same way you lived—a pain in everyone’s ass, a thorn that wouldn’t come un-lodged, a nuisance that wouldn’t fade or mature with time. Your funeral showed just that—a handful of family and maybe a couple people who called themselves your “friends” from work that came just for the open bar and free food. Your funeral was unremarkable, a testament to the short and sporadically violent time you spent on this earth. You were the “Problem Child,” the very same that is ranted, raved, screamed and shouted about in Villains’ latest single. Featuring an all new vocalist and a refined, aggressive and (somehow) even more bitter attack on the listener, these Illinois-based masters of murderous self-loathing are back and more pissed than ever.

“Problem Child” begins surreptitiously, subtly, like a true funeral dirge. However, before long, the carefully constructed build-up to a cathedral of haunting, mesmerizing mystery crashes down around everyone who was trapped inside—sending them to their deaths. Jarring, razor-sharp guitars that range from low and filthy to squealed, screeched and mutilated wreak pure chaos on the listener’s ears. Meanwhile, simply enormous percussion beats and hammers away at the listener, bringing a newfound technicality to Villains’ dynamic which was absent on 10 Code. However, when it comes to things absent on the band’s previous release, the clear aspect to acknowledge is the sheer insanity that is to be found in the band’s newest vocalist. Raw, rugged and as gritty as sandpaper, the vocals on “Problem Child” are nothing short of perfection. They dip into pseudo-guttural and insane screech when needed, but, for the most part, the vocals are a constant, bitter yell that is even more hate-filled and misanthropic than any release the band has put out to date. Simply put, the screams and shouts of “Problem Child” are the screams and shouts of a soul outcast from society, friends, family and love. It is pure, agonizing hatred bred with equal parts loneliness and cruelty. It is everything that makes Villains Villains.

When all is said and done and you’ve been put in the ground, you’ll be forgotten. The same cannot be said for Villains and their latest release, “Problem Child.” A masterful, mathy combination of aggressive hardcore, punishing deathcore and brooding, down-tempo groove, Villains have swallowed a bomb covered in cyanide—timed to detonate and give everyone at their funeral a one-way ticket to hell and the everlasting bitterness that comes with.



For Fans Of: Gift Giver, Barrier, Sworn In, Kingmaker, Victims

By: Connor Welsh