‘The Realist’, Issues’ first release of new material from their upcoming album ‘Headspace’ seems to have been met with mixed opinions since it aired a few days ago. While some find it “not heavy enough” and others grow perturbed by the lack of screaming, I’ve been struggling to get anything other than good vibes from it. It’s for the same reason that I can’t take the latest Polyphia and Hands Like Houses records out of rotation in my car: it just has so much groove.

Tyler Carter’s vocal melody was always going to be infectious and effective and there was always likely to be a head-bobbing breakdown somewhere, but I wasn’t expecting such prominent bass tones and undeniably catchy rhythms. Outside of the context of the full album it’s easy to understand why some would be anxious about the lack of meaty bottom-end and throat shredding screams, but as a lead single from a brand new album I’d be even more concerned if there lacked any indication of progression or exploration of new territory.

There’s nothing more thrilling and natural than watching a band evolve over time and to see the collective influences of a group shining through in different ways and when it results in songs with such an effectively sunny disposition as this one, I’m all in favour of it. I’m sure across the album as a whole the band will treat us to a full spectrum of sounds, including the much sought-after heaviness, but for now I’m perfectly happy being hooked on this fun, catchy little number while we whittle down the weeks to May 20th.

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