Gas Mask Magazine

Rivals: “Alkaline”

By: Eric Reyes
March 10, 2021

Dark. Pop. Rock. Three words I never thought I’d be excited to cram together.

Like a bat out of hell, LA Originals Rivals shakes, rattles, and rolls onto the airwaves with their latest release, Alkaline. With every new era, genres morph and evolve to incorporate disparate and even antagonistic elements to create newer sounds more attuned to the tastes of the market and the masses.

Rivals expertly borrows from the established conventions of pop, and the structures in place for female vocalists, and sends shockwaves from the ground up with the harsher, deliciously disruptive nature of Rock. Crashing guitar and relentless drums, backed by an ominously tuned electronic backing of key-and-synthboard, there is an edge to the track’s atmosphere. Vocalist Kalie Wolfe tears into us with her powerful vocals, rage and calm biting and clawing at one another throughout the performance.

The darkness of the track is what really caught my ear. Like the old video for ChiodosThe Words Best Friend Redefined, the backing evoked the blinding flash and pulse of strobes on a pitch-black stage. I got chills. Add Rivals to your headbang and thrash playlists today and burn through all that lockdown energy that’s been building.

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