Personally, the thing I love about the mathcore genre is that janky time signatures are key, and what the band chooses to do with the sound beyond that is a huge, empty canvas. Maybe there will be some noise rock or metalcore woven in, maybe metal, maybe grind, maybe something real damn heavy or even noisy. It’s a genre with punk in its bones when it comes to the rawness and just not giving a fuck. Enter a perfect example of this: Willzyx and their latest release i don’t feel anything.
Willzyx is a mathcore enigma out of Manchester, NH. Imagine a current iteration of Daughters covering 2003 Daughters while also mixing in some Idles, ambient, and a splash of Listener. And kinda sounding psychedelic and spacey. There are a ton of layers of weirdness here and I, for one, am all for it.
Spanning six tracks in fourteen minutes, Willzyx…just are the very iteration of expect the unexpected. The opener “dissension plan” is a tension builder with little bits of synth popping in and out. It is a straight sci-fi set-up that effortlessly transitions into “flexible lie.” The mood is immediately shifted to teeth-chattering panic as Ian Secrest’s spoken word shouts/screams intensify. The track shifts between paranoia and heavy outbursts.
Moving forward comes “priceless soul, a dangerous subject.” It begins simply enough, the guitar/bass work is plenty catchy. It is a song that builds like the stakes are being raised, and then it suddenly breaks down, like something just kicked in and the senses calm. A soothing feeling settles in and then the band take another stab at the eardrums, and it shifts into a frantic meltdown. Following this is “feed your feelings”, a track that is heavy on the ambient and heavy on the…well, heavy. The track slams plenty hard for the last third of its run time. But before that, it is a gentler build. Not free from intensity, there is plenty of that in the vocals and drums, but weirdly has some serenity speckled in.
“wrong time, wrong body” is a slab of weirdness. It is difficult to describe beyond experimental/ambient. It is noise melded with some drums and loops. It is kinda like an interlude. Very spacey/glitchy and alien in feeling.
Closing off the release is “we can live our deaths in peace.” Things start out quietly enough. What happens is some heavier sounds start stinging the ambient pieces. Things dissolve into a psychedelic feeling until the heaviness comes back, more distorted and loaded with vocals. It is like a declaration that swells up and keeps heavy until its finish time.
i don’t feel anything is a very interesting release. Willzyx has, with this and previous releases, showing that they do not care much about boundaries. And good for them. It works damn well here and will doubtless serve them in the future. If you like your music or your mathcore weird and heavy then there is a lot to unpack here, and you probably should not wait any longer to check this out.