Play (Lists)

Brutal Sentimentalism in Design Flaw’s New Single ‘Silence’

By Charlie Maybee

Washington, D.C.-based hardcore band, Design Flaw, have released their new single “Silence,” which stands in stark contrast to its musical contents.

Against the ceaseless crashing of drums and cymbals, the echoing guitar feels like a hurricane of ambient sound that could destroy the sturdiest of buildings. The immense and cathartic sound is perfect fuel for the wailing vocals, which feel like distant cries coming over the horizon of a stormy ocean. This is a different kind of power from the typical heavy distortion of rock and its many subgenres; one that harnesses an older, more natural energy and simply puts it into an echo chamber where its turbulence can reign supreme.

This is the kind of music that would tickle fans of alternative metal like Deftones and Glassjaw, where a strange, almost formless energy manages to feel intensely direct and overwhelming. I can imagine the kind of physical chaos a live performance of this song could have on an audience predisposed to being riled by something so primordial.

While I would not immediately suggest this music to those who are faint of heart, I would offer that within the overwhelming tsunami of sound is something purely emotive caught in a feedback loop that continually doubles down on itself. Tenderness and brutality somehow find a home in the composition of this music, to admirable effect.

“Silence” can be streamed on all major streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, SoundCloud, and TIDAL.

Follow our Alchemical Weekly Spotify Playlist for this and more great music featured on the site.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest

Charlie Maybee

Charlie Maybee is a dancer, musician, educator, and writer based in Winchester, Virginia who currently teaches in the Dance Division of the Shenandoah Conservatory. His primary work as an artist is with his performing collective, Polymath Performance Project, through which he makes interdisciplinary performance art that centers tap dance as the primary medium of expression. He also currently fronts local hard rock band, The Aftershakes, and releases music as a solo artist under the name Nox Eterna.

More to explore

Bumpin Uglies

Bumpin Uglies Explain ‘This Whole Gig is Survival of the Fittest’

One of today’s most exciting reggae/funk groups that you’ve likely already heard of, but may not know is actually from right in our DMV backyard in Annapolis, Maryland is none other than Bumpin Uglies. Bumpin Uglies blend and swirl a style that weaves a sonic palette of upbeat music, heartfelt lyrics, and most of all, fun – channeling ska and reggae favorites. Join contributing writer Linc Bradham as he discusses the band’s wildly successful career, how they navigated the height of COVID-19, and why they believe “this whole gig is survival of the fittest.”

Read More »