It’s taken some time, but good things come to those who wait. Metallic hardcorers Bailer have released their debut record Disposable Youth earlier this month on Blood Blast Distribution, a much-anticipated collection of songs that has been a long time coming. It’s the follow-up to the band’s trio of EPs, 2018’s self-titled, 2017’s PTSD, and 2016’s Shaped By The Landscape. An ambitious album, Disposable Youth is sure to help expand the group’s audience far beyond their native Ireland where they are already much beloved for their distinctive brand of hardcore.
As a record, Disposable Youth views the world from a point of view of manic depression and nihilism. And the members take great pride in the fact that every single note and word of the album was written in a room together by the four band members. They decided to just jam it out in the songwriting process, which gives this album a very authentic feel that emphasizes the chemistry that grew between them while they endlessly rehearsed and recorded.
To commemorate the release of Disposable Youth, we caught up with bassist Sean Conway for a session of Stereo Six, where he offered us six songs that influenced him in the recording of this record.
1. Pantera – “Domination” (1990, Atlantic Records)
“I can still remember my young teenage mind being completely blown away by this track. As tight as the entire band are, the guitar solo was such a display of savagery, I legitimately thought it was fake, or sped up. I hadn’t heard playing anywhere close to the levels of virtuosity before, the excitement of hearing the track has never really left me and I never viewed guitar the same way since. I haven’t even mentioned the absolute earth-shattering breakdown that proves you don’t need to be technical to crush.”
2. Snarky Puppy – “Flood” (2010, Ropeadope Records)
“As somebody who has spent most of my life listening to heavy music, this track really took me by surprise back in 2012. Contemporary jazz fusion, layered with deceptively complex rhythms and overlapping melodies. It’s a track that could be studied by the greatest music minds on earth, but also enjoyed by somebody looking for some pleasant sounds in the background. I had absolutely no idea music like this existed at the time; to me, jazz was something that existed in the past. Flood pays tribute to the history of the genre, while feeling completely in the moment, and vital to the time it was conceived.”
3. SikTh – “Bland Street Bloom” (2006, Bieler Bros. Records)
“In the early 2010’s I thought I knew what technical was, I thought I knew all there was to know about rhythm and how to bend it. In walks SikTh drummer Dan Ford, with a mind-bending array of stops and starts, to complement low-tuned technical riffs, hyper melodic, and often crazed vocals. ‘Odd time signatures’ doesn’t quite cover it, as things just have a tendency to fall in a way that almost feels hard to transcribe. The fact that they managed to make a true ‘song’ at the end of the day is a feat scarcely accomplished by most bands in their scene to this day.”
4. System of a Down – “Chop Suey!” (2001, American Recordings)
“In 2001 this track made for the craziest thing I had ever heard. One of the earliest times I can remember thinking, ‘I didn’t know you could do this!’ Seeing the music video on TV, I thought John Dolmayan’s drum kit was the biggest in the world and Serj and Daron’s performances were just electric. The super-fast verse beats, the over-the-top screamed vocal parts and crisp production took music to another level for me. It was yet another point in my life where I really didn’t see music in the same way from then on.”
5. Opeth – “Ghost of Perdition” (2005, Roadrunner Records)
“This was my first experience with anything that could be considered vaguely death metal. The first version I heard of this track was from the Roundhouse Tapes live album. At first, I thought the guttural vocals were too much for me and I initially dismissed the band. I found urge to keep going back to the track, however, and I slowly grew to love it. I still think it’s my favourite Opeth track to this day. The three or four songs in one type of structure, the different atmospheric and melodic changes, the vocal harmonies, the rhythm change-ups and the ability to keep your attention for ten minutes, is as skillful and slick as the band get, in my opinion.”
6. Strapping Young Lad – “All Hail The New Flesh” (2007, Century Media Records)
“Hearing this track for the first time was the gear change I didn’t know I needed. I had definitely heard things that could be classed as extreme, but nothing quite with the same amount of scope as the opener to Strapping Young Lad’s classic City, ranging from playing as fast as possible, to a legit catchy chorus. At times, full-blown extreme metal, at other points, it seems like the band are aiming for good time rock riffs. It’s just a shame this had to be an underrated album, from an underrated band, in an underrated period of heavy music. Nonetheless, I’m just thankful to have stumbled upon them at just the right time to blow open all my perceptions about the music I was into.”