COMBAT ROCK: San Jose pop-punk band Till I Fall are releasing their self-titled EP this week.
Lately, Brandon Leeland says he’s been feeling like the whole world’s gone mad. From watching the everyday struggles of friends and family to attempting to discern the truth amid an endless torrent of tweets and cable news conjecture, Leland, like so many, has been overwhelmed.
So, when he watched Elizabeth Warren’s speech during the Women’s March in Boston, he felt comforted and inspired. “I got chills and I even teared up,” says Leland, the singer and guitarist for San Jose-based pop-punk outfit Till I Fall. “It was so relieving.”
That catharsis is palpable on “Cherry Bomb,” the closing track from his band’s forthcoming self-titled EP. “Now we can whimper, we can whine, or we can fight back,” Warren says, her resolute voice rising through the scratchy, scooped-out guitar and splashy ride cymbals of the song’s bridge. “Me—I’m here to fight back.” And the entire force of the band comes crashing back in an explosion of guitar, bass and drums.
It’s a politically charged end to an album that begins with another collection of soundbites—including clips of Donald Trump and a very pointed statement from Tupac Shakur. These bookends are appropriate for a collection of songs that are meant to cut to the heart of today’s cultural malaise.
“I believe that it’s a reflection of young America right now,” Leland says of the EP. “I can’t speak for everybody, but a lot of people I know and for myself—growing up right now sucks. Everybody is really selfish and everybody is really angry.”
Till I Fall capture that anger with their punchy sound. There’s the galloping Blink-182 drumming, the cranked guitars and the overlapping, nasal melodies, which mirror a head swimming with so many thoughts, it’s impossible to grasp at any single one.
The self-titled EP drops on April 20 and the band is gearing up for a record-release show May 12 at Forager, directly followed by a West Coast tour beginning May 14. The band is excited about sharing their new music with a wider audience.
“It is exactly what we’ve been trying to express over the past two years with our music,” says lead guitarist and backup vocalist Zax Avila.
Till I Fall
May 12, 6pm, $10
Forager, San Jose