After a 2019 that marked their debut blast of Skate Punk rooted, genre-crossing fast Punk, Heathcliff and ‘Stay Posi – Not Zombi’ enter 2020. A year that through its unprecedented upheaval, has only proved to be positively consistent through its sonic output. The alternative music scene has held on and despite tours now being a thing of the seemingly distant past, is indicative of its own an ingrained and inherent strength. To extrapolate this further, one notable example is with the varied, vibrant and ever-progressing Punk scene, of which Skate Punk is a notable facet. The operative word there is “ever”. The Punk-Rock scene many of us inhabit is moving in the right direction but we have a long way to go. I shouldn’t need to tell you why or what you need to do, so let’s make this happen.
Now that important digression is aside, we can return to Heathcliff and ‘Stay Posi – Not Zombi’, which is set to release very soon. I had it early, and this is how it went.
Through what I can only but assume is a testament and tribute to No Fun At All, crossed with the contemporary scenes’ metallic and technical penchant, Heathcliff compile introductory, anthemic and sombrely toned layers to start. Heathcliff-brand Skate Punk is of a traditional-core but is seamless in its contemporary awareness. This is entirely the case from the first verse and its harmonious end to the following classicism. Heathcliff charge-off via a late-’90s formation, supplemented with arguable Mute-isms.
‘Stay Posi- Not Zombie’ may suggest upbeat and painfully happy blasts of “Posi-Punk” but, that is only correct to a rounding fifty-per cent. Heathcliff embody the mood of a “Zombi” and its gloom-laden, over-encumbering existential weight but then harness said feeling and repurpose it into anthemic, resonating realism. – ‘You cannot stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.‘ This is positivity, but not idealism.
‘Stay Posi – Not Zombi’ is a refinement of the harmonic and again, anthemic displays associated with the Munich band. However, such has never been the band’s total-selling point. The band’s earlier material, much akin to contemporaries such as Drunktank and Straightline, show a lingering, ubiquitous metallic conditioning. Heathcliff, until the 2:27 mark, notably keep such in check. It is after this step over the half-way-line, that the band give way to the war on their horizon. The band’s tenuously brokered peace between Skate Punk and Metal alike simply disintegrates. In fact, the track’s latter fifty-per cent is mired amongst a stylistic battle of the ages.
This latest track from Heathcliff was up against it regarding its forebears. This may seem quite the superfluous statement, but, it isn’t. The four-pieces 2019 debut, #Chilloutradio emphatically and skillfully, showed what they were good at. This is the very dichotomy I am driving at. ‘Stay Posi – Not Zombi’ supplants the”good at” in favour of the “best at”. Heathcliff in a track 55-45 split in favour of Skate Punk, still toast their intrinsic “horns-up” disposition. ‘Stay Posi – Not Zombi’ much akin to the likes of Our Darkest Days, any of the above and likely many I’m missing, voluntarily breathe “the Metal” but emphatically dwell in an atmosphere of cathartic and emotional Skate Punk, that is as pure to their emotions as it can be.
That was Heathcliff and ‘Stay Posi – Not Zombi’. The band’s 2020 foray will release on the 21/08/20 via SBÄM and until then, pre-save/pre-order it below.