Article By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Senior Writer/Journalist ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway, Owner/Editor
Rochester, New York’s contemporary, alternative metal band OVTLIER return with a new stand-alone single and official video, “Spineless“.
For “Spineless,” OVTLIER lead singer Joey Arena is joined on the mic by Danny Leal, Jr., lead vocalist of the Texas metal machine Upon A Burning Body. The song and video come at a highly positive point for OVTLIER, having recently signed with The Label Group / InGrooves Music Group. There is also the heightened global attention on the band, courtesy of features with Revolver Magazine, Loudwire, and ABC News, along with millions of YouTube views and Spotify streams.
With all of the public spotlight and media focus rising to a fevered pitch, perhaps it is ironic that “Spineless” is inspired by the personal events undergone by Arena after witnessing the passing of his grandmother. These events led to Joey contemplating his own personal views on various medical and scientific studies. The conclusion he would eventually come to, after watching the extent of his grandmother’s suffering in the name of “treatment” was summarized “…we are nothing but lab rats and test subjects.“
The harrowing ordeal was translated into the visual presentation that plays out in the Josiah Moore directed video for “Spineless”. The song contains tightly wound, aggressive music accompanying the venomous, barked vocals in the verses, though things soon change. A clean singing approach takes over for the melodically-tinged choruses that become brief respites in this high intensity metallic assailing.
OVTLIER frontman Joey Arena delved deeply into the traumatic experiences that inspired “Spineless“, and its resulting video, saying:
“The music video portrays symbolism of the horrors in today’s sickness and society. This year, I watched my grandmother, my main source of stability, fight her losing battle to cancer. When she was diagnosed a few years ago, I made it my mission to educate myself about the disease. She put her trust into her doctors, as many would, and the pills they prescribed had so many negative side effects and the chemo they pushed into her frail body that destroyed everything good and bad, only to have it come back, spread, and mutate. I watched her lose a part of herself daily. I watched her lose sleep and barely hang on. I couldn’t imagine the courage and strength it took to face every day. Researching it all, the origins of chemotherapy and radiation used as a medical “solution” are complete lunacy, especially finding out its “success rate.” If you, the reader, know someone who is a part of that small success rate, you’re fortunate to know a survivor in that minority.
Without going further down the rabbit hole, “Spineless” reflects my personal views on the medical and governmental studies and that we are nothing but lab rats and test subjects. They plant the bug and out comes the disease. It’s the food we eat; the thoughts we think and the air breathed… It’s like there’s a new disease every week with a name attached to it as though it was created in a lab. Is it crazy to think that most of the sickness is man-made and brought upon ourselves? Sure, bacteria evolves but look at how STD’s are transmitted. What came first, the chicken or the egg? Where did it start and when does it end? I am questioning more ’cause I’m tired of watching loved ones suffer.
What is scarier than to believe you’re just a rat in an endless maze? Are we just slaves to ourselves? Do we enslave each other? This is not just about doctors; this is about politicians, the media, corporations, and companies that we support. Bankers, lawyers, judges, these are the people you put your faith in and that you give power to. To massive amounts of these lab coat vermin, we are social experiments at best. The elite or powers that be sit back, fund and watch the reactions of society. Knowing pharmaceutical sales reps, being told how everyone gets their kickbacks and primarily the doctors get incentive to push specific drugs, it’s a dark and twisted charade and all trial and error.
How about the stories that are surfacing about purposely misdiagnosing cancers? How much of a piece of shit do you have to be to rip someone’s heart out, fuck their world up and evidently kill them? It’s related population control. Good thing karma exists. My thoughts are this; like all businesses, doctors also need returning business. To treat sickness and to cure it are two different things.”
The “Spineless” single is the initial follow-up to OVTLIER‘s critically acclaimed 2016 EP release, ‘What Doesn’t Kill You‘, reviewed at Riff Relevant last year [HERE]. The song is both the continuation of the incendiary nu-metal-with-a-melodic-edge the band wields, but there is also an ongoing evolution. It is evident here in the tighter grooves and strikingly turbulent passages, ones with increasingly more fluid timing and tempo changes.
Check out the official video for the new OVTLIER single “Spineless” below, along with dates for their December U.S. East Coast short run tour with Secret Eyes and Saving Vice.
– OVTLIER U.S. East Coast Tour –
w/ Secret Eyes & Saving Vice
Dec. 04 – Erie, PA @ Basement Transmissions
Dec. 05 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre [info]
Dec. 06 – Flatbush, NY @ The Nest [info]
Dec. 07 – Toms River, NJ @ The Clubhouse [info]
Dec. 08 – Manchester, NH @ Jewel [info]