Headstrong – Suffocate (New Music)

Introducing Headstrong: A pop punk five piece from Sydney that we think might be worth getting to know! Featuring Josh O’Loughlin (vocals), James Venites (lead guitar & vocals), Thomas Flood (rhythm guitar & vocals), Brooke Harley (bass guitar), and Morgan Cato (drums), the quintet have just released their debut single “Suffocate”.

From its opening bars, “Suffocate” sets a ‘something is coming’ stage. A lengthy introduction featuring distorted riffs soon bleeds into full pop punk goodness. Slipping into a fast-paced run with hectic beats and serrated riffs, it soon becomes apparent that Headstrong are telling a story of deceit that threatens to bury them emotionally. And just when you think “Gee this song is great”, they hand the listener a quirky interlude section complete with guitar focus and… blast beats? I’m a fan.

There’s a lot to love here, with top notch vocals throughout, whether subdued or in anguished overwhelm, along with some stellar backing and harmonies. There’s pop punk signature intensity present, but the emotions are given plenty of instrumental ‘spaces’ to filter through and leave their mark with the listener.

Instrumentally Headstrong manage to bring something that feels new and interesting while also still tracing familiar genre lines. Within “Suffocate”‘s 3:33 duration, Headstrong manage to scale emotional heights, telling a story with an ‘I know I’ll be alright’ grip on a happy ending – eventually, anyway.

It’s an impressive debut. Never a dull moment and attention is piqued throughout, even for those (like me) who don’t consider themselves as fans of pop punk. Check out “Suffocate” via its music video, created by Neck Up Films.


Kel Burch

Creator and caretaker of Depth Mag, Kel uses her superpowers of empathy, word-weaving, and feeling everything deeply, to immerse herself in music before returning to reality to write about her experience with it. [Loved the read? Shout Kel a latte.]

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