With long red hair and an often-sported pornstache, Canadian emo-trap fusionist Smrtdeath has garnered a reputation for being one of the most endearing and self-aware personalities in the scene.
Just three years ago, no one could’ve predicted a record deal with Epitaph was soon to be on the cards, but with the success of artists such as Juice WRLD and Lil Peep, the global expansion of what was originally an incredibly niche genre has been a sight to behold. Fellow Boyfriendz member Lil Lotus as well as guccihighwaters have also signed deals with the label, making Epitaph one of the first to curate a real roster of active artists within a newly respected scene.
After a near endless slew of singles, EPs, and collaborations, complete with samples utilising everything from Turnover to Daughter, ‘Somethjngs Wrong’ has been a long time coming.
What’s abundantly clear from the off is the increased production value that sees bedroom beats and emo-sample loops being switched out for much more refined instrumentals, as crisp and clear as they are dynamic.
Opening single ‘Don’t Love Me’ serves as a perfect introduction to the majorly honed style and blend of pop-punk, emo, and trap that Sethany has been sharpening for almost half a decade at this point. With such a knack for hooks, cuts like ‘Waste My Time’ are infinitely catchier than any pop-punk release you’ll lay your ears upon this year.
Lyrically, the subject matter here is as equally witty and depressive as always, but the newfound exposure, success, and dangers of inflated ego have become prevalent factors. ‘I Feel Rich’ addresses these issues in humorous fashion with a tongue-firmly-in-cheek beat change that replaces acoustic guitar melodramatics with anthemic synth-pop vibes.
There’s a subtle balance for the most part between the more club-leaning bangers like ‘SICC’, and the big budget reimagining of early emo trap guitar sample origins. No better example than early single, ‘Back With Me’, which breathes with the serene pop clarity of the self-titled Blink-182 era, just with more 808s and hi-hats.
The final few tracks, namely ‘Too Far Gone’ and the Goody Grace featuring ‘Still Can’t Hate You’, feel delicate and genuine, while subtly broadening the channels for more melodic mainstream appeal.
While the uninitiated may be left somewhat underwhelmed, fans of Smrtdeath and emo trap as a whole would be remiss not to delve into what is surely one of the most focused and realised projects the genre has seen in 2020.
Lover of choons, flums, bukes and such. I like making music. I like writing about music. I like burgers and emo-trap. Also suffer from a slight case of knowitallism. I wish every song had a breakdown.