Taking in Pridelands’ most recent single, “Heavy Tongue”, the metaphor of fire strikes every one of the senses. In ashen grey or smoky red visual scenes, with ferocious lyrical lines burning black into memories, it’s as though the Melbourne quintet have taken inspiration from Midnight Oil‘s “Beds Are Burning”. As well as literally tying into the lyrics, the new track shares a similar heartfelt activism but gives modern commentary and context.
With an undercurrent of spiritual wisdom as we’ve consistently seen from Pridelands before, “Heavy Tongue” talks somewhat cryptically, personifying elements of nature and sharing tales of their adventures. Speaking of serpents and country, there’s also a reverent nod toward the original caretakers of this land, who are watching their beloved mother land become depleted, barren, and disrespected.
“Are you with us?”
The question of “Are you with us?” blows out on the wind to all who’ll hear it, before determined calls for action and accountability are delivered. Driven guitars, interwoven voices, and an anxiety-ridden song structure are all determined to shake us awake, and Pridelands have never sounded so good. Hooking with a beautiful and surrendered chorus, the “Hey, you!” cries, and rapidly-running sections also serve to have the song set up camp in memories.
If you missed the good news, the collective of Joshua Cory (vocals), Mason Bunt (vocals), Liam Fowler (guitar), Daniel Lohrey (bass), and Joe Lipsham (drums) have happily found a label home for their sound. Pridelands announced the signing to Resist Records alongside the single’s release. Bewitching from first listen, the grounded spirituality, meaningful subject matter, and fierce instrumentation we hear here pairs Pridelands with Deadlights as having nailed this fascinating combination. All that’s left to do is to take it in and see what they do next.