Superheist were at the peak of their powers within the Australian music scene when nu-metal was at the pinnacle of its commercial viability 20 years ago. Despite a lengthy hiatus, the band stormed back onto the musical landscape in 2016 with a new album that nobody asked for, and as a consequence never saw coming.
Rediscovering their fire and on the back of a successful national tour, Superheist has quickly knuckled down in the studio to bring their fans another set of new nu-metal driven tracks. It would be simple enough at this point to suggest if you are a casual fan of the band or their music in general, Sidewinder will likely appeal.
Superheist swing deftly from stand up early 00s nu-metal with tracks such as the opening one-two of ‘The Riot’ and ‘Crush The Crisis’ with their rapped lyrics, stomping beat and heavy guitars to pop elements that begin to seep in around ‘Overlord’. It’s a track that combines soothing pop vocals with the flow of a nu-metal beat, creating something altogether fresh for a style of music not known for wanting to rock the musical boat, despite its beginnings as a genre that took a bunch of different styles and combined them in all kinds of (un)interesting ways.
Sidewinder hits its peak in the middle with another one-two punch of ‘Breath’ and ‘Trauma’ acting as darkness and light. ‘Breath’ starts with an expansive keyboard and does its best to stay contained as a ballad of sorts, ending on some 8 string guitar djent riffing. ‘Trauma’ takes almost the opposite tack. Big heavy djent style riffs weave throughout a solid One Minute Silence (Oh yeah, remember them!?) style nu-metal/rock track that is one of the biggest standouts on an album that feels either ahead of its time, or 15 years behind them.
‘And So We Burn’ sees the band go all in experimenting with electrical elements, and is buried deep in the track list so as not to scare too many fans that this may be a permanent change in direction. I am not normally a fan of music saturated in keyboards and EDM beats, but somehow main writers DW and Ezekiel Ox pull off something that may just be great radio fodder.
It takes the whole album, but the final track ‘God Knows’ is one of the heaviest things Superheist have down in a very long time, both lyrically and musically. Written as a middle finger to former Cardinal George Pell and the rest of the Catholic Church over issues that have been well publicised and not worth going into here; suffice to say that the venom throughout is palpable, and if Sidewinder had this much sting throughout, I may have enjoyed it more.
It isn’t a bad album by any means, but sometimes the musical wanderings blur the more positive elements hidden throughout.
- The Riot
- Crush the Crisis
- And So We Burn
- One of a Kind
- God Knows