Wendy Eisenberg adds depth to everything they touch. Whether it's the refreshingly abrasive edge they bring to their folk-adjacent, jazz-based solo songs or the dissonant earth tones they add to their free improvisation with legendary experimenters such as John Zorn, they have a knack for making fresh tracks in well-trodden soil. Editrix, their hard-rocking trio with Steve Cameron of the powerviolence outfit Tortured Skull and Josh Daniel of the jittery post-punk group Landowner, announced themselves in 2019 with a four-track tape titled Talk To Me and followed it up last year with their first full-length, Tell Me I'm Bad.
Last month, they dropped the imperatives to announce their sophomore LP, Editrix II: Editrix Goes To Hell, and share its lead single, "One Truck Gone." And today, they're premiering a second offering called "Hieroglyphics" with The FADER as they prepare for the record's June 3 release via Exploding In Sound.
The new song finds Eisenberg reimagining heavy music's often over-salted emotional flavor profile with the palate-cleansing secret sauce of vulnerability. But anyone so blind as to mistake this honesty for weakness will curdle at the sound of their bone-chilling whisper, backed by Daniel's thrashing kit work, Cameron's filthy picking, and her own nu-metal-inspired guitar line.
"I hate this part / It leaves me so exposed / Don't talk abut that / Don't talk about how it made you grow," Eisenberg mouths at the start of the track. Later, they harmonize behind their breathy vocal line, creating a demonic chorus as the instrumental runs wild beneath them.
Listen to "Hieroglyphics" and read our interview with Eisenberg below.
The FADER: "Hieroglyphics" and "One Truck Gone" are essentially nu-metal tracks. Did you grow up on nu-metal, and what inspired you to put your own spin on the genre in 2022?
Wendy Eisenberg: I grew up in the general universe of nu-metal, coming to consciousness in the Korn/Linkin/Slipknot years and connecting to it, but I have always been too softhearted to find myself in that “lifestyle” (plus, I was 8). All of us in the band love System of a Down, and various metal subgenres deeply, but whatever particularly nu-metal aesthetics that came through in these songs were just what the songs themselves seemed to be asking for. Basically, we didn’t set out to write nu-metal, but it was the sound surrounding our formative years.
The lead vocal line is whispered in a really steady tone throughout the new song, which creates a great chilling effect. What led to that decision, and do you have any favorite whispered lead vocals from other songs of any genre?
I find whispering to be sexy and intense and off-putting in equal measure. I’d wanted to have a whisper song for a while, especially during the Paula Cole phase I had when we were writing this record. The verses of “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” are unbelievably beautiful to me, and were a direct inspiration here.
The thing that struck me most about this song was its lyrical vulnerability in contrast with the heavy instrumental. Do you think the hardcore scene could use a healthy injection of vulnerability?
While I love hardcore, it’s tough for me to consider myself a dedicated-enough member of that scene for it to be appropriate for me to speculate on what lyrical choices would make a positive impact on it. There should be as much a space for healthy verbalized aggression as there is for vulnerability; both take conviction and risk, which is most of [what] I care about in music.
The Boston indie rock trio Pet Fox, whose lineup has logged time in bands like Ovlov and Palehound, released their More Than Anything EP last year. Today they’ve announced they’re following it up with their third full-length this summer. It’s called A Face In Your Life, and its lead single “Checked Out” is out now.
In a press release, Pet Fox’s Theo Harlett says:
"This song is roughly about living in a capitalist society, where people are so willing to help out so long as they can benefit from it. The idea of “checked off, checked out” is that someone can quite literally have a checklist that once fulfilled, they can disregard and “check out” so to speak. There’s so many people that do not give a damn about you until they realize that you hold some sort of worth that is valuable or cool to them."
“Checked Out” is a deeply melodic alt-rock guitar jam with a slightly moody undercurrent, and when that “Checked off, checked out!” hook hits near the end, it starts to remind me of post-punk acts like Omni. Hear it below.
Early last year, Editrix made their raucous debut with Tell Me I’m Bad. Today, the trio — which is made up of Wendy Eisenberg, Steve Cameron, and Josh Daniel — are announcing its follow-up, Editrix II: Editrix Goes To Hell, which is out in June. Lead single “One Truck Gone” is tightly coiled and tense, with Eisenberg’s magnetic melodies at the center. “This song fell out of us in a period of intense rehearsing and writing,” they said in a statement, continuing:
"I was dealing with what felt like total rejection from one of my social worlds, and thinking about what makes one thing appear replaceable or upgradable and another thing permanent or desirable. It seems to me that some people are totally down to drop whatever nice thing had existed with them if something else comes along that seems more “ideal” to them; others commit to changing with whatever it is they exist with. It’s not a strict binary, but differences between these priorities and approaches, and how they each relate to scarcity myths and austerity politics, affect how people relate to each other, and their things, often heartbreakingly."
If you’ve ever driven through the Midwest you may have noticed the brief respite in HELL IS REAL–type highway signage when passing through Indiana, which is instead littered with the bloodshot eyes, lunatic grin, and oddly symbolic tattered-American-flag stovepipe hat (not to mention what looks like a straightjacket) of one Krazy Kaplan—probably the last person I, personally, would want to see while surrounded by explosives. Meanwhile, many of Kaplan’s brave competitors within the state advertise discounts for service members, which, as Mister Goblin band leader Sam Goblin rightly points out while introducing the project’s latest single, is “such a bizarre fucking deal, given that PTSD and hypervigilance are so common among veterans.”
“Military Discount,” the second single from the forthcoming LP Bunny from the Two Inch Astronaut offshoot, explores this idea by inhabiting the deranged capitalist mindset of shilling harmful products under the guises of nationalism and solidarity. “It’s kind of written from the perspective of a shiesty used car salesman type of person who is trying to pawn fireworks off on military people,” Goblin adds of the intense track which opens with a split-second of black metal percussion and guitar dronage before opening up to the vocalist’s best grunge-indebted rasp and one of the hardest-hitting instrumentals in the group’s discography.
Melbourne outfit Pinch Points have shared a new single titled ‘Haruspex’, released today (March 8) to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD).
A driving, bass-heavy punk number with biting riot grrrl influence, the track marks an apt release for IWD with its sharp feminist angle, singers Acacia Coates and Isabella Orsini (who double as the band’s bassist and drummer, respectively) quipping fiercely on the patriarchal power dynamics that continue to oppress women in modern societies.
“We are frustrated by the long-enduring issues of gendered violence towards women, trans and gender diverse communities,” the band said in a press statement, “usually at the hands of men. We’re sick of seeing the same headlines, the same apologia for ‘promising young men’, the same lack of empathy from our elected leaders.
“There’s a small riff on a line from Iggy Pop’s ‘I’m Bored’, when we say, ‘We scare ourselves to sleep at night, Scare ourselves in broad daylight,’ twisting that familiar line into something more sinister from a non-male perspective (made even more sinister by the fact that lots of the old rockstars of this ilk have shady reputations when it comes to their relations with women…)”.
Touching on the new song’s title, the band explained: “In ancient Rome, a haruspex would read omens in the organs of slaughtered animals. The conversation around gendered violence is just as brutal and repetitive. We see the same warning signs and issues around violence repeat again and again, and our governments and society aren’t taking enough measures to prevent them.”
‘Haruspex’ comes as the third song shared from Pinch Point’s forthcoming second album, ‘Process’, following ‘Am I Okay?’ and ‘Reasons To Be Anxious’. Following up on 2019’s ‘Moving Parts’, the album is due out on March 18 via Mistletone.
‘Process’ was produced by Anna Laverty, and sees the band exploring themes around systemic issues in so-called Australia – including bushfires, gendered violence, mental health struggles, the incarceration of First Nations peoples and deaths in custody.
NME recently featured ‘Process’ on its list of top Australian releases for March, with writer Alex Gallagher saying: “Pinch Points don’t fuck around. The rising Melbourne four-piece’s incendiary second album situates their forthright, socially-guided songwriting – pulling apart overlapping structures of consumerism, systemic inequality and mental illness – with frankness and empathy in equal measure.
“It’s anchored by the band’s bouncy, locked-in post-punk and a direct vocal delivery that borders on sprechgesang, altogether resulting in a record that’s as thrillingly fun as it is razor-sharp.”
Pinch Points will launch ‘Process’ at a hometown show at Melbourne’s Corner Hotel on Saturday April 2, with support coming from MOD CON, Alien Nosejob and Our Carlson. Tickets are on sale now via the venue.