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Track-by-Track: headcage Hash Over Their Debut EP ‘under my skin’

English post-hardcore quartet headcage join us today for a track-by-track rundown of their debut EP ‘under my skin.’



headcage, photo by Issac Johnson (@behindtheeyez)

It’s been a memorable, fast-paced start to headcage’s musical career. It all came to a “head” with the release of their debut EP, under my skin, which was formally released last month (see our news story on the band from last year). Emerging out of the city of Newcastle Upon Tyne in the UK, the quartet has been steadily seeing their stock rise since last year. The post-hardcorers began to gather attention last year with a steady stream of single releases. Various Radio 1 and BBC Radio shows featured all of these singles. Listeners have really taken to the group’s combination of killer low-tuned riffs and intense melancholic lyrics. Their musical style is a combination of early 2000s post-hardcore, emo, and metal.

The momentum headcage built last year has extended into this year. They are becoming a fixture on the UK rock n’ roll circuit, selling out their first two headlining shows, and now playing venues double the size of last year. They also played the Make a Scene Festival in Middlesborough alongside Trash Boat, Dream State, and more. The band recently went out on a headlining tour in conjunction with the release of under my skin. They played many cities for the release time, with the band’s national profile quickly rising.

We are joined today by headcage for a track-by-track rundown of under my skin. The band discusses the origins and background behind these four scorching tunes.

1. “nothing”

“Our vocalist Leyum (Pattinson) states that lyrically the song details the struggle to overcome the feeling of uselessness and the everyday battles that come alongside living with ADHD and anxiety. I wanted to state in layman’s terms the difficulty that I face to remain persistent or disciplined in many aspects of my life. The sonic beauty of the track lies in the musical contrast. Blending nu-metal, riff-based grooves with colossal, melodic vocal crooning, we couldn’t be happier with opening the EP with this track.”

2. “gaslight”

“With ‘gaslight,’ we really wanted to up the tempo and create a relentless, driving hard rock song. An almost frenetic vibe that’s meant to immediately kick off the mosh pits. We love the chaotic breakdown riff, feels like it comes out of nowhere, but still works with the overall song. It’s so fun to play live, too. We talk about the anger felt at being dismissed by friends and family. It’s generally just pure catharsis, vocalizing frustrations in song form. Perhaps our most radio-friendly chorus as well? Who knows.”

3. “false gold”

“This was the first song headcage ever wrote as a band, way back in 2020 over Zoom in lockdown. It’s been edited a lot over that time to get it EP-ready. One of our most popular songs live; it always gets the crowd moving. We believe ‘false gold’ encapsulates the way a lot of people feel in the current societal climate towards those with wealth and status. The sheer disparity that exists between the different classes is appalling and is something we see firsthand living in the North East of the UK, where deprivation and poverty are more prevalent than lots of other places. Sonically, it reminds us of a post-credits early 2000s superhero movie soundtrack, epic on all fronts.”

headcage ‘under my skin’ EP album artwork

headcage ‘under my skin’ EP album artwork

4. “under my skin”

“We couldn’t be more proud to have this song as the title track to our debut EP. Being able to pull off this song, in the way that we did, is something we’ll always be happy about, despite it being an incredibly sad song. The song talks about living with the feeling of being overwhelmed yet feeling completely empty at the same time. It’s definitely the most raw and transparent song of ours to date.

“Our bass player Elliot’s (Johnson) partner Lydia came and lent her amazing vocals on the chorus and outro. She added that extra layer that really helped lift this song in the right places. Thank you to her for that. As a closing statement for the EP, we believe this will surprise lots of our listeners. But we absolutely ride out for this song, and it deserves its place as the overarching statement to the EP.”


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