Currently based in Melbourne, heavy act Pridelands are coming off of a small break between shows and releases, and have entered themselves back into the scene with a bang. Releasing their music video for new track “Machina” was the first step, with the song heralding a slight adjustment to their lineup and an impressive change in sound.
After letting the track simmer for a few weeks they have taken another step by releasing the second single “Any Colour You Desire”; the title track of their upcoming EP. Pridelands are made up of dual vocalists Mason Bunt and Josh Cory, Liam Fowler on guitar, Daniel Lohrey on bass, and Joe Lipsham on drums. The talent of these five young musicians was evident as we took an early look at Any Colour You Desire.
The title track of the EP was released with a magical and mysterious feeling music video, which was filmed, directed, and edited by Kieran Ellis-Jones of Crystal Arrow Films. Going into the song itself, “Any Colour You Desire” gets the EP off to a killer start. The fast verses and harsh vocals of Mason Bunt meet perfectly with the gorgeous cleans of Josh Cory to create a somewhat seamless transition between the verses and the thoroughly enjoyable choruses. I especially enjoy the atmospheric vocals Josh uses in one of the verses; creating a fantastic breath of air which leads into the first chorus perfectly. Lyrically the song is about dealing with toxic people in your life, and the anger that is felt when these people lie and manipulate in order to ruin someone else’s life. It also speaks of forgiveness, and how even if it is supposedly the right thing to do, sometimes people simply don’t deserve it.
“I don’t really want to give you a reason yet
It’s not as if you’ve given me a reason to care
It’s not as easy to forgive the one that left me here for dead”
The guitar absolutely shreds throughout “Any Colour You Desire”; keeping the pace up but still makes you want to move, as you just feel like banging your head in perfect unison with the rhythm. My personal favourite part of the whole track is right before the last chorus when the drums pull off a nice little fill before a solo played on the cymbals only. This is simply so good, as it leads into the chorus perfectly and has a real “fuck yeah” vibe about it in the last chorus because of this.
Track two is titled “Boys”, and it is a big change of pace already, as it focuses largely on the vocals of Josh Cory, and the instrumentals are much slower. The guitar peacefully sets the tone, as playing in a mellow perfectly pitched way it matches the vibe set by the vocals. The drums are also effective, as the decreased pace allows Joe Lipsham to almost playfully explore the kit, as he goes between various fills in the verses, all setting up to something big. This all leads up to the final chorus, where everything gets heavier. The guitar and drums truly kick in at this stage as they are loud and fast, matching the increased intensity of Joshs vocals as they close out the song with noticeable passion.
Closing with yet another slow verse, “Boys” is about friendship, and how your close friends can help you through many difficult things, including mental illnesses. Despite this, it also touches on a lack of opening up that can occur between friends, and how this lack of trust and inability to be honest about ones state of mind or mental health can have horrible effects on people.
“Its written in the bags under your eyes,
and written on the lines on the back of your hands.
You keep it in, folded up, and I don’t mind.”
It emphasises the importance of opening up to someone if you’re feeling down, even if you are worried about getting judged it is more than likely they will be able to help. “Boys” is a terrific high point for Josh’s vocals, as he flourishes with the extra time to shine.
“Black Lung” doesn’t mess around, as it kicks into gear very fast, as if the opening screams of Mason Bunt are a brutal wake up call. The chugging guitar and technical drums create some heavy verses, as well as the harsh and clean vocals going back and forth beautifully keeping the mix between the two right in the sweet spot. “I wanna sleep until its dark outside” is the scream we are met with before a sweet breakdown that is all kinds of filthy (in a good way). This song is about addiction, and how it can change between being seen as a relief to being seen as something that stops them from living their lives fully.
Track four was the first single released off the EP “Machina.” “Machina” marked the return of Pridelands and their new approach to their music with the use of the dual vocalists. “Machina” is about having people in your life that are fake. It is about giving all you can to these people even though you are very aware of the fact that they don’t care at all. The speaker goes through something rough, and they are suffering because of it, and feel conflicted: They felt they need this persons affection and care, but they also feel like they don’t need them or anyone’s help. They refuse to accept that anything this person does could possibly be genuine at all anyway, which in of itself closes off the possibility of them reaching out.
“Why do you say that you care, when you aren’t listening?”
This song belongs to Josh, as his clean vocals carry this song and make it as enjoyable as it is, though the contrasting between the clean and harsh vocals in the choruses and the verses really keeps the tone and pace changing. The instrumentals are fantastic as they perfectly coexist with the vocals.
“Slowly” is the fifth track off the EP, and speaks of having a friend who is suffering from dark thoughts, and how dealing with that can cause you yourself to struggle as well. It has an overarching feel of hopelessness to it, as the lyrics reflect and endless battle against ones own mind. The speaker appears to no longer be in control of themselves. Lyrically this is a very well written song, several parts immediately grabbed me and made me think, “hey, nice.” There are also several haunting verses, as the song slows and it focuses almost purely on Josh’s vocals. The soft tones speak harshly and really hit hard.
“But it seems we succumb to ourselves more than anything else.
Go ahead and run away so I can go and blame myself for this.”
The final track off Any Colour You Desire is “The Sulfur Inside Your Hell.” This track is another that touches on mental illness, specifically what one would feel if they didn’t know what was happening to them. They have all the symptoms but aren’t aware what it actually is, and have been haunted by it for some time. It speaks of sleepless nights, feeling as if something is watching you, trying to undo your sanity and tip you over the edge. It explains how you can’t run away, and how the feeling isn’t natural at all. It is as if some kind of demon has latched itself to them and refuses to let go.
“It feels so alien, I confess. Its clutching onto me so hard that I can’t breathe.”
“The Sulphur Inside Your Hell” is also instrumentally quite a heavy track, and although Josh again plays a heavy role in the vocals Mason still manages to show through his vocals the suffering that the speaker is going through. The catchy dark chorus will stick in your head for hours, and the guitar bass and drums will have your neck sore after not being able to sit still whilst listening.
Any Colour You Desire touches on several themes throughout its entirety, and lyrically and instrumentally is a fantastic piece of music. The lyrics tell stories and the instrumentals perfectly set the mood and tone depending on the lyrics. The move to focus more of Josh Cory’s vocals is certainly a welcome one, as his talent is overwhelming in this release.
Mason brings the heavy when he needs to, displaying emotion and power through his screaming vocals. The drums, guitar, and bass all align perfectly to create a very tight collection of songs, and yes they certainly keep it loud at times, with brutal riffs and killer breakdowns aplenty. The overarching theme of this EP appears to be struggling with ones’ demons, and I am very interested to learn more about the writing process and what went into creating this music.
Pridelands have done a stellar job on their second EP, and will hopefully enjoy a good amount of success because of this. Definitely give this a listen when it is out, and check out the singles now on any music streaming services. This is for any fans of heavy music, and I look forward to catching these guys live at the Any Colour You Desire EP launch on 26th May. Reserve your place for the launch HERE.
Fresh heavy sound utilising talents of both vocalists. Strong lyrical content. Crisp instrumentals.