Music Premiere: Sunrise Pilots Don't Care What Year It Is On Debut EP

Let’s be honest: when most people think about genres of music that are “popular,” post-hardcore is not one that has come to mind since about 2010, and that’s if we’re being generous. Much like its parent genre hardcore, it has been relegated to specific circles of purists working hard to keep the dream alive.

Sunrise Pilots don’t really care about all of that. Here, in 2016, they bring us their debut EP Qualia, even daring to call themselves a post-hardcore band. Sunrise Pilots consists of Chris Knox on vocals (the singy and the screamy kind), guitar, and bass; Shane Cameron, also on bass, guitar, and vocals; and Josh Nath on drums.

The EP is 6 tracks long, and sits at a comfortable 23 minutes and 45 seconds long. It’s perfect to listen to on your commute to work, if you enjoy spending most of it alternating between yelling at the universe and crying inexplicably. Sunrise Pilots spend the better part of the EP switching smoothly between clean and unclean vocals, in a way that even the most green of listeners would be able to tolerate. The riffs are hard hitting, and the drums resonate. A lot of raw emotion pours out of the edges of every track, but at no point in time does any one aspect of the song overstay its welcome.

One of the more interesting elements of the EP is the various references to cinema present in the titles of some of the songs, none of which are recent. Both “Wrath of Khan” and “Chasing Amy” share titles with famous movies from the 80’s and early 2000’s respectively. They also just so happen to two of the three strongest tracks on the release, alongside the lead single, “Sketchbook Serenade.” “Chasing Amy” stands out the most, wielding the most emotional depth (as well as a very refreshing change in tempo and style about three quarters of the way through the song, shifting to a more upbeat, almost poppy sound that harkens back to the early days of Rock N’ Roll.)

With the references, stylistic homages, and genre of choice, one can’t help but question whether or not the members of Sunrise Pilots know what year it is. Not that you should care, because they clearly don’t. It’s still a hell of a lot of fun.

Header photo by Garrett Smith
Header image design by Jason Lee