Cartoon Network’s late night programming block Adult Swim launched their inaugural “Singles Program” in 2010, offering a new song every week from a group of curated artists during the course of the summer. While the original collection spanned a respectable nine tracks from the likes of established hip-hop icons such as Freddie Gibbs and Madvillain to notable garage rockers the Black Lips, the series is now operating on a far larger scale in its seventh year. 2016’s incarnation is 25 tracks that include EDM heavyweights such as Flying Lotus and Flume alongside indie curiosities such as Jenny Hval and Die Antwoord. Of considerable interest, however, is the presence of Bay Area metal band VHÖL and their formally unreleased battalion of a single “Dispatch.”
Revealed earlier this week, “Dispatch” is a firestorm of venom raining down without mercy. Sweltering guitar riffs cut in and out of a chugging power chord motif whilst vocalist Mike Scheidt stretches his voice into burning comets of desperation. “This life is over,” Scheidt repeats in a vociferous wail that somehow acts as a highly effective pop hook. Yet over the course of five minutes of aggressively agile thrash-acrobatics, the band never once sounds less than wholly alive. VHÖL includes members of the already well-respected outfits Yob, Ludicra, and Hammers of Misfortune, but together they might just find a degree of fame outside the metal community.
Whilst the idiosyncrasies of the genre are well beyond many listeners to initially appreciate, the momentum of their music is universally affecting. “Dispatch” makes me want to greet the morning with two fists up front, and then sprint a marathon on my way to fighting a hurricane. In other words, it’s a perfect song for the summer.
Download “Dispatch” here, and be sure to revisit VHÖL’s great 2015 release Deeper Than Sky.