Michael Swank- Vocals
Luke Burleigh - Bass
Austin Dore' - Guitar
Aaron Robertson- Drums
Hardships make us who we are. Myka, Relocate clings tightly to that universal truth on its full-length debut for Artery Recordings and Razor & Tie, Lies to Light the Way. Rather than simply backing down in the face of adversity or deceit, the Houston six-piece—John Ritter [vocals], Michael Swank [vocals], Luke Burleigh [bass], Austin Dore’ [guitar], Josh Peltier [guitar], and Aaron Robertson [drums]—soldiers ahead and transforms those tribulations into triumphs. Now, their story is all on tape.
As of 2011, the band had become a local favorite in the Louisiana scene. With the addition of Houston natives Ritter and Swank, the lineup finally became solidified, honing a dual vocal attack that’s as scorching as it is soaring. At heart, it’s that two-pronged assault which separates Myka, Relocate.
“With my voice and Michael’s at the center, our songs are like roller coaster rides,” reveals Ritter. “You go up to the highest of peaks with real uplifting and, dare I say, happy choruses. After that, we bring you straight down to a super aggressive low that will make you grit your teeth. Think of it like Top 40 meets metal.”
Entering Phoenix’s Chango Studios in July 2013 with producer Cameron Mizell [Memphis Mayfire, A Skylit Drive], Myka, Relocate cut twelve tracks that segue from gnashing technical guitars into immediately irresistible refrains. Electronic flourishes color the sound at points, while every element falls into an impenetrable groove reminiscent of Deftones or Sleeping with Sirens. It’s easy to feel that kinetic stomp on the first single “Doublespeak”.
“Lyrically, it’s probably one of the most meaningful songs we’ve ever written,” admits Ritter. “It describes how we’ve been dragged in the dirt in the past and played like chess pieces. It’s a big middle finger to those people. At the same time, if they didn’t do what they did, we wouldn’t be as aggressive in making this happen. Thank you for fucking us over because, without it, we wouldn’t have found our way. That’s the meaning of our album title Lies to Light the Way.”
Elsewhere on the album, an ominous riff kicksarts “Useless”, mounting into a bona fide mosh pit anthem. “I had fun with that one,” the vocalist goes on. “It’s one of our meanest songs. It has to do with people who take their positions for granted, exploit their fame, and have overbearing egos. It calls out rock stars.”
Still, there’s an inherent bond between these six musicians that drives everything regardless of what the outside world may throw at them. “Every member has a specific role and puts in the same amount of effort,” affirms Ritter. “It creates a broad, but consistent style. We literally listen to everything from pop to dubstep to hardcore. There’s a smorgasbord of sounds in there.”
Ultimately, that’s why Myka, Relocate will also resonate immensely with listeners. He concludes, “I want every single lyric of our choruses stuck in their heads after one listen. We leave a lot of it open to interpretation. Hopefully, there’s something in every song people can apply to their own lives.”