New Plague Radio, in their new EP ‘The Beeswax’, takes us back. Way back.
If you told internet radio in the nineties that there would be a band creating a musical fusion of hip-hop groups like D-12 and Outlawz, along with hard rock vocals collaborating with guitars resembling bands such as Incubus and Limp Bizkit, chances would be that you’d be pretty unemployable in music journalism. Notwithstanding, the times seem to have changed with the advent of the Los Angeleno band — New Plague Radio.
The twenty-two minute EP takes all the elements of some of the most popular scenes of the nineties and pit them into one, discovering a very unique sound that the band has been able to make entirely their own. The EP runs across four tracks — ‘Methamphetamine Dance’, ‘Rock Like The Smiths’, ‘Read Headed Dead Girl’ and ‘…And Now We Move Mountains’.
The band had teased Methamphetamine Dance in 2020, which becomes the opener for the EP. Right when you click play, you’re hit with an electric guitar riff that has a tone typical of stalwart rock acts like Queens of the Stone Age. As you’re enjoying the riff, you’d probably be expecting some mid-40s man with a cigarette voice to start singing — you’d be very wrong. The song breaks off the lyrics with extremely snappy bars of rhyme delivering on each beat, borrowing heavy inspiration from Beastie Boys in sync with Limp Bizkit. The song also features very raspy and appealing vocals reminiscent of early Poets of The Fall. With the song structure being divided into hip-hop — chorus — hip-hop, it is evocative of nu-metal acts like Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory. The song winds up in ascendance with a palatable tongue-in-cheek distorted guitar riff.
Rock Like The Smiths is an understated rap-rock masterpiece. With the track beginning acapella, it quickly branches out into an expeditiously immersive hip-hop soundscape accompanied by basic percussive elements, a very tasty bass and background harmonies. At its best moments, the song gets accompanied by a well-upholstered drum filler that really raises the bar high for any other track in the album to compete.
Red Headed Dead Girl tips over that bar — a number so redolent of a ridiculously brilliant medley of the rhymes and vocals that sound like early 2000s punk rock bands such as Bowling For Soup. The song brings with it this associative filth that is so brazen and rudimentary that it is almost supremely attractive, and is certainly waiting for a cult-like following that will etch out the dictation of this sound.
The final track …And Now We Move Mountains is difficult to put into a single specific caricature. It begins with a usual rock riff and very hushed, recitative vocals, and quickly gets married to prominent percussive elements. In parts, the song gets overlaid with guitar solos and traditional blast beats and returns back to its original structural composition. With too much going on, the song may be a little difficult to follow through when not heard intently. Notwithstanding, it is understood that the closing track is one that defines itself when it is being played — making it a highly interpretive number.
Brilliantly produced even for its distinct sound, New Plague Radio’s The Beeswax is cutting out fresh genre corners. Check out the EP here: