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Death Lens Bio

Death Lens want to be in your ear at all times. They hide their ferocity underneath a thick veneer of style until the energy and chaos of one of their live shows leaves every audience member disarmed and forever changed. Off the strength of 2022’s No Luck, tours with Militarie Gun and Together Pangea, and the support of their hometown, Death Lens is releasing their new album, Cold World, May 3rd on Epitaph Records.

For Death Lens, it’s all been building to this. Cold World is a departure from the early styles Death Lens mimicked as a young band, transmuting them into matured and brawny post-hardcore tinged rock songs.

On record, Death Lens have an established habit of writing hard-nosed rock that combines West Coast reverbed-out surf punk with tight and bouncy Britrock, deceptively characterizing the band as exclusively chill and vibe-focused when live, a Death Lens show has all the energy of hardcore. Slick guitar sonics and sugary backing vocal harmonies that feel like the best parts of indie punk and shoegaze are the foundation of their style, but in a 200 capacity room, Death Lens brings the same winning concoction as Turnstile and Militarie Gun. In other words, these are the kinds of songs that become the soundtrack to enduring memories of nights of drunken, sweat-drenched singalongs.

Death Lens started in 2012 as an instrumental project intended to “express ourselves with emotions only and no vocals,” before member Bryan Torres sought more for the group and moved to singing. The self-described “five Brown boys from La Puente,” have gradually moved from straight up showcasing their explosive energy and attitude in their recordings to being a downright refined example of their hard work and early influences gaining traction within their scene.

Growing up as minorities 20 miles east of Los Angeles with constant harassment by police and heavy gang violence, Death Lens faced many risk factors that could’ve led them astray from this moment.

“We began as your typical party garage punk,” explains Torres, “but have evolved to using our platform to speak [on] living in heavily policed areas, immigrant dominant areas where we push for immigration reforms and using any resources we have to help the community.”

Lyrically, Torres is reckoning with his place in the world, examining social injustices, current political and world unrest, and his emotional, mental, and physical reactions to it all. On Cold World, the guitar tones are the best they’ve ever been, the songwriting is stronger than it’s ever been, and the hooks are massive, culminating in Death Lens far and away creating their best work to date. For production on Cold World, the band went to NYC producer Brett Romnes (Hot Mulligan, Mom Jeans) and got straight to work on communicating how to execute their vision.

“The genius behind the production and recording was Brett Romnes. This was our first time using a producer and we were scared that our sound was not going to be us, but Brett was such an amazing addition to the writing process. We molded our thoughts together, he wasn’t afraid to speak his mind, we disagreed in parts, a lot of banter, a lot of “Ah ha!” Moments that led to amazing riffs and lyrics and creative ideas. That goal was to find a common ground and build off of that and we did almost instantly on day one, it was beautiful. We like a guy leading us who is rough around the edges, and that was Brett Romnes. He was like the 6th member of Death Lens, he was a part of us for those weeks together.”

Death Lens’ songs getting even more reverb and the raw dial getting turned back a notch ended up being only a sonic preface to the kinds of space they were gearing up to leave for the substantial hooks they were set to write for Cold World. The harmonized backing vocals are there on songs like “Vacant.” There’s a gorgeous piano intro at the top of “Bruised,” tambourine on “Memory Hotline,” and a moving string arrangement underneath acoustic guitar and Torres’ singing on “Lo Que Sera.” There’s a confidence and adventure to tracks like “Fucked Up,” “Nothing’s Forever,” and “Not Enough,” that show just how secure Death Lens are coming with Cold World.

“We use themes for our albums to build a story and “Cold World” just seemed to fit in the days we’re living. Cold World is the desire to thrive in a deteriorating world all while pushing those who feel like there is no hope and hoping to give them a second wind, a sense of hope.”

Where their previous work was either rhythmic crashes of energy or glossy croons over strummed melodies, Cold World simply revs up and drives. The guitars of Jhon Reyes and Matt Silva tastefully simmer and sear where they once screamed on the track. Tempos are as consistent as they ever were, but rhythms held together by bassist Eduardo Contreras between the percussion of drummer Tony Rangel and Bryan Torres’ vocals are often synchronized, while Torres’ is much more a rhythmic bark and less the indie croon he used before quarantine. Maybe living as Brown people in one of the most wealth disparate areas of the country did that. It’s certainly the vibe you get watching Death Lens perform to a crowd of Brown kids with every bit as much attitude as a band like IDLES.

“We’re all unified in the way we think, we all believe in a fair system for all to live without struggle and with a reasonable cost of living,” Torres says, “We side strongly with socialist ideals proudly. We’re also very pro Latino and pushing heavier to see more Hispanic bands up on stage, pro LGBTQ, pro immigration and everything in between.”

“One world, one community.”

Upcoming Shows

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  1. 6.20.2024
    Piacenza, Italy
    Spazio 4.0
  2. 6.25.2024
    Zurich, Switzerland
    with Bad Religion
  3. 6.26.2024
    Saarbrucken, Germany
    with Bad Religion
  4. 6.27.2024
    Ysselsteyn, Netherlands
    Jera On Air Festival 2024
  5. 6.29.2024
    Glasgow, United Kingdom
    The Hug and Pint

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Death Lens

Death Lens

Death Lens want to be in your ear at all times. They hide their ferocity underneath a thick veneer of style until the energy and …

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