Singer Derek Archambault’s personal histories, experiences and genuine pain is expressed honestly and sincerely in the works of band Defeater; but the stories he tells are not strictly his own.
Five-piece Boston hardcore band Defeater don’t so much write songs as they do histories; that of an unnamed, unknown family from New Jersey, the disintegration of whose lives into torment the works document. Its characters are crafted and conveyed such that their pain is all too real, as Archambault imbues his vocals with that which he has felt and witnessed in his time plauged by chronic pain.
So too does inspiration for the actions which unfold stem from personal experience. As the main character shares an agonising relationship with higher powers – born from Archambault’s youthful disillusionment with relgion – listeners are left question the resulting and unexplainable event which triggers the family’s downfall. Was it purely chance, or the work of something greater?
Defeater leave people pondering, as good and often great music should. It is however, as Archambault explains, not intended to be a heavy-handed opus against religion (“I’m not trying to paint everyone as martyrs. Pun intended.”) Instead, here the church symbolises those gateways to which others are susceptible; addition to substances, or even a poorly matched of hurtful love.
With the kind of meaningful weight that underlies all the best hardcore, Defeater are a treat to listen to; and Abandoned an ideal saga to showcase it.
Abandoned is available to buy or stream now.