Amplified is a column focusing on small and emerging artists. If your band fits the bill, drop us a line at [email protected].
I’ve been a fan of Bottomfed for a while now – they’re from my relative hometown area in Massachusetts and their last EP, 2015’s Impatient Pile of Bones absolutely rips. A bit mathy, a little sludgy, and thankfully lacking the bullshit tough guy pretenses that tends to come with hardcore, especially when it comes to the Boston area. This band makes me want to fight people, and they’re complimented really well by Syracuse, NY’s West Berlin on this split. Each band is bringing something a little different to the table – Bottomfed’s track “Blackened Angel” is more about spazzy bursts of mania with an incredibly gross breakdown in the middle, while West Berlin’s “104” plays it more straight up the middle and melodic instrumentally. They’re different enough that the individual strengths of each band are front and center, but these tracks could just as easily be two sides of the same band.
Bottomfed on “Blackened Angel:”
“Blackened Angel” is a song for anyone who has ever lost a family member or loved one unexpectedly. Writing this song helped me cope immensly with loss. The lyrics are essentially an analysis of that whole process, not only for me, but also for my family. While dealing with death is hard, it is important to honor a life appropriately. Doing so brought my family together in ways I have never seen, which is truly a beautiful thing. Allowing someone to live through positive memories and stories, rather than the sadness and grief you carry, is the most selfless way you can honor a person. The first lines of the song read “Anxiety ridden response. I won’t allow you to live through filler for the funeral.” This is referring to being at the funeral and being overcome with nervousness and anxiety, therefore not knowing what to say or do. I then began to notice how much my family was supporting each other in this tough time. I realized that I had to do the same. The last lyric of the song is the most direct portrail of the theme. “Darkest ditch. Trapped by rust. Death won’t save you from my love.” This is saying no matter how bad it gets, you can still maintain your love for someone. And you can always maintain love for someone who has passed.”
West Berlin on “104:”
The main theme of the song “104” deals with human failure. I based the song off of the first time in my life I had ever felt like a complete and utter failure. Back as a freshman in college I was experiencing a lot of new things all at once, my parents homeschooled me as a child so I wasn’t exposed to very much growing up. College was basically another planet for me, I had a blast…until my grades came back, after that it was a long ugly return to reality. For the first time in my life I realized that the world didn’t revolve around me, and that I had let people down while being too caught up in what I thought were my own best interests. There is no real positive side to this song, it’s dark and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. It deals with that sinking feeling that one feels when they know they’ve screwed up. Fun fact: The University I went to is located on NY State Route 104, hence the title of the song.