Following the untimely demise of Modern Life is War and Life Long Tragedy, hardcore started to look like a downhill slope for a while. However, there are a valuable few bands that seem to have the capacity to fill that gaping hole, and The Carrier are one of them. Combining a dark yet melodic sound similar to that of Shai Hulud with the intensely personal lyric-centric approach of early Modern Life is War, "One Year Later", their debut album, bleeds emotion from every pore. Anthony, their vocalist, sings of personal struggle: covering depression, self-loathing and loneliness, the fact that these tales of personal troubles are coming from someone who is "nineteen years young" makes them instantly and utterly relatable. This relatability is strengthened by the simplicity and urgency of his delivery: it's even the simplest lines like "I want to see better days, I want to see hope in things" that are perhaps the most breathtaking, because of how direct they are, because of how much we see ourselves mirrored in those words. This sense of relatability is the reason that I love hardcore: it's that "we're in this together" feeling, that knowing that there's others out there that feel just as bitter and disillusioned as you. It's a feeling of community spirit that's difficult to find in any other genre. The title track of this album is particularly poignant in its story of consuming and stagnant self-hatred, but it's the powerful undercurrent of hope in the anthemic Panicstricken that really provides the gem in the crown. "One Year Later" is The Carrier's "My Love. My Way". Give them a bit of time and they may well write their own "Witness".
I chose death over life, wanted to meet my maker, I was dying inside. Pain too great to deal with me made me try to take my life. But now I've seen the light, I've got a second chance at life. I'm not retracting my old tracks. I'm never going back to the locked doors and the blinding lights, to the uncertainty of whether the next will be a good or bad day. I never want to wonder what life would be like without me in it, because I'm alive. I'm done wanting to die. I've taken what I've learned with me, it's all I know, and I'll been kicking my old shit out the front fucking door. Because I don't need it anymore. I'm taking steps forward one foot at a time, making sure not to fall. And it will be the last trip of my life. Reaching up while the ship sinks to the bottom of this dead ocean. A thousand stars couldn't shine through everything we've been through, in this world that has no ending. I'm never going back to locked doors. I'm never going back to blinding lights.
-The Carrier; Panicstricken