Ottawa hardcore band Premonition dropped a killer 5 song EP earlier in March called The New Plague. This album is for fans of raw, in your face hardcore with a message and big breakdowns.
This hard hitting in your face hardcore album, that clocks in around 11 minutes long, carries quite an appropriate and timely name given the COVID-19 pandemic playing out across the world right now. However, the name The New Plague has been in the works much before the March 17 release date. “We’ve had the concept for the album cover art in mind as far back as a year ago, and we knew we needed a title that would go well with that image of a plague doctor, ” said lead singer Louis Cyr. “A few ideas were floated around but nothing really stuck. It wasn’t until around last autumn, whenI rewrote some of the lyrics to ‘Profound Disdain’ to include the line “we need a new plague to save us,” that a light bulb went off. We then had a full-fledged concept for the album’s aesthetic that would match the energy and topics of the tracks, which all share a collective theme of frustration with social, ethical and ecological politics.”
Premonition is of course not oblivious to the situation. “Honestly, we’re just marveling at the coincidences at this point. It’s not just the EP name. We have a song about civil unrest and the commodification of basic human needs, the cover song is by a band called “Outbreak”—and we, a band called Premonition, picked all this stuff out months and months ago,” said guitairst Nat Plamondon. ” The way things were all lining up really started to hit us a couple weeks leading up to the release. We didn’t want to change the EP name, shift the release date, or post any disclaimers. We’d just let people think what they wanted to think.
The album is exactly the type of hardcore music I have been missing and that I needed blaring out of my speakers. It is fast, hard, angry and full of breakdowns that make me what to two-step and throw down around the house, while not missing the change to us their platform to express societal critiques. The band worked with local hardcore/grindcore mainstay Topon Das (Fuck the Facts) through Apartment 2 Studios. “We’ve all worked with Topon on various projects over the years. He’s a joy to work with and love the way his records sound. They just hit hard,” said Plamondon. “More than anything, it’s always good to have an engineer that will challenge a part when they thinks there’s a better way it can be played (or when it outright sucks). You never want someone who’s just there to set the levels and hit record.”
Another key element of The New Plague was the addition of guitarist Holden Egan, formerly of Pine, who made his return to hardcore and gave the band the shot in the arm it needed. “Holden really energized us. This band has always been a really casual effort, which is great for us and the points in life we’re all at. But that also leads to us not giving it the attention it deserves—letting other priorities take over. Bringing in Holden really added a new excitement to writing and recording. Cody [Coughlan], Alex [Brownlee], Holden and I have been playing music together on-and-off for a decade now, so there’s some built-in chemistry there, and Holden’s got a ton of great ideas especially when it comes to recording, tones and production—something the rest of us aren’t so well-versed in,” said Plamondon.
Book 15 minutes in your day, turn your volume up to loud, clear some dancing space and get down with the new Premonition EP The New Plague. And while you recover and catch your breath keep these parting word in mind: “Wash your fucking hands, support small local businesses, stream and buy music by independent artists—and not just during this coronavirus crisis. Do that shit all the time. And vaccinate your fucking kids.”