Counterparts consciously decided to switch things up on their fifth full-length album and second for Pure Noise, You’re Not You Anymore. Forging into new territory, the Hamilton, Ontario quintet—Brendan “B” Murphy [lead vocals], Adrian Lee [rhythm guitar], Blake Hardman [lead guitar], Kyle Brownlee [drums], and Tyler Williams [bass]—stressed the incorporation of clean singing and tighter structures into the writing process, streamlining their searing signature style significantly.
“It’s cool that we’re still learning, trying new things, and being diverse after ten years together,” exclaims Brendan. “We started this band at 16-years-old, and we’ve figured out a lot along the way. We wanted to write catchier music that’s heavy and still Counterparts, but people can sing along to it live. We’ve been gravitating more towards this for a while. These elements have become more apparent on every record. Finally, we were like, ‘Fuck it. Let’s write the best record we can and keep it short, heavy, and to the point.’ That’s what we set out to do.”
The progression proved natural for the group with 2015’s Tragedy Will Find Us paving the way. The album debuted at #116 on the Billboard Top 200 and earned the endorsement of Noisey who claimed, “This is a record made by a band who have hit their stride in defining exactly what Counterparts means in terms of sound and meaning.” From its knockout tracklisting, “Burn” cracked 800K Spotify streams, while “Solace” and “Stranger” surpassed the 500K-mark. Finishing up a whirlwind of touring, the guys retreated to Graphic Nature Studios in New Jersey to once again record with producer Will Putney [Body Count, The Amity Affliction].
“He’s almost like another member of the band at this point,” the frontman continues. “We trust his opinion, and he’s really on the same page with us. He knew exactly how to get us where we wanted to go.”
You’re Not You Anymore marked the first time Counterparts wrote with Blake, Kyle, and Tyler as Adrian also stepped up to the plate with more ideas. “You can really hear everyone on this,” smiles Brendan. “It’s more of a group effort. We all wrote together, and everyone was upfront and forward. It didn’t matter who did what. We just wanted to make a good fucking record.”
That’s exactly what they did. The first single “Bouquet” illuminates Counterparts’ growth. Fortified by airtight riffing and hardcore energy, the track swings into a chantable clean refrain that’s impossible to shake. Within a month, it cracked 179K Spotify streams and introduced the album with a bang.
“It was actually the first song we recorded,” says Brendan. “It sounds like past records, but there’s a more defined structure and that hook. Lyrically, it deals with the same topics I’ve talked about like self-worth, mental health, my existence as a whole, and all of that.”
Elsewhere on the record, the second single “No Servant of Mine” serves up a blast guttural guitars and thrashing intensity before another hard-hitting chorus.
“It’s about relationships deteriorating, whether they’re platonic, romantic, or business,” he admits. “It’s directed at people who are no longer in my life and me coping with that. Sometimes, it’s for the better.”
Ultimately, Counterparts stand poised to connect more than ever on You’re Not You Anymore.
“I want people to listen to this and feel how they felt about our other records,” Brendan leaves off. “There’s no bullshit here. We wear our hearts-on-our-sleeves. This is how we do things. We came into this trying to upstage everything we’ve done in the past. I hope we did.”
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