Alborn make the kind of music that would sound great backing a movie montage of the current frenetic pace of the band: Loud, aggressive, driving, and with enough melodic punch to make it memorable.
The seven-year-old Illinois alternative metal act — comprised of Justin Taylor on guitar and lead vocals, Alex Raser on drums and vocals, Zame Lewis on bass and Nate Guske on guitar and vocals – release their new EP “Push” with a show Saturday at Davenport’s Common Chord. The gig begins at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6 p.m. Discrepancies, Widow 7 and The Forty Twos open the night.
It’s the latest accomplishment for Alborn, which was formed by lifelong friends Taylor and Raser, whose fathers played in bands together when they were kids.
“We started jamming together when we were in high school. After a couple early member changeouts we found Nate and Zame on a whim, and they were literally the two missing pieces we needed to get any further,” Raser said. “Our goals have always been pretty much aligned, hopefully to be able to make and play music for a living one day. The (band name) comes from someone we knew from our hometown, but the backstory is always just kept to ourselves.”
Left to right: Justin Taylor(guitar/lead vocals), Zame Lewis(bassist), Alex Riser(drums & vocals), & Nate Guske(guitar/vocals) | Alborn
The concert Saturday night, and the EP, are just a couple elements of the band’s frenzied schedule right now, as they prepare to head out on the road for a national tour with Powerman 5000 beginning March 1.
It’s a great pairing, as the Powerman fans should eat up Alborn’s music, particularly “Push,” which combines the dark melodic sting of Deftones with the grunge and pound of Alice in Chains.
The new collection builds upon their debut EP, “Impairative” in 2020, and 2021 singles “Full Circle”, “Cause to Create” and “Hindsight” which hit Spotify’s “Rock Hard” playlist, SiriusXM Octane, and Music Choice, as well as terrestrial radio rotation.
But Alborn took it to a new level with “Push,” working in Las Vegas with with Chris Collier and James “Fluff” Harley, the production duo fresh off working with Korn on their “Requiem” album. There, Alborn recorded three songs, “Push,” “Learn to Live,” and “Even Numbers,” which have been packaged with another track, “Ten Times,” recorded with Morgan Rose and Jose Urquiza to form the new EP.
“For starters, the incredible engineering, mixing, and mastering done by Chris Collier and James Harley sets it apart from any of our earlier stuff,” Raser said of the new record. “We had done a lot of evaluating our sound and what kind of band we really wanted to be going into the sessions for the EP and we believe these songs are exactly what we hear from people describing our sound; hard and melodic.
“In our eyes, it is truly a new era of our sound, what we’ve really been after for a long time,” Raser said. “As far as how the songs were written, they all came about at different times. We are always sitting on a heaping pile of demos waiting to be finished, so we selected those as our favorites of the bunch. Some were pretty close to done foundation-wise, but obviously we went back through them thoroughly for polishing when it came time to record them. Personally, my favorite is ‘Learn To Live.’ It just has awesome energy throughout the song and it’s super fun to play live.”
Alex Riser behind the kit during Alborn’s performance at The Rust Belt | Alborn & Bad Ingram Life Photography
The group’s live show has only built their reputation, as they’ve had to run through the fire and meet the challenge of sharing stages with the likes of Shinedown, Sevendust, Buckcherry, Adelitas Way, Badflower, Gemini Syndrome, Plush and others. Powerman 5000 is just the latest, and one of the greatest, to have the band crash their bill.
“Simply ecstatic,” Raser says describing the band’s feelings about touring with Powerman. “We’ve been trying to do a full length tour for years now and the fact that it’s finally happening still doesn’t feel real. We are all very much looking forward to the experience.
“It’s always a goal of ours to make as many of those people fans of ours when we (open for other bands), but we’ve never really viewed it as some kind of competition or anything,” Raser said. “Usually (we have) feelings of gratitude towards the headlining bands for allowing us to share the stage with them.
The band has had nothing but good experiences opening for the more seasoned acts, and one in particular, Sevendust, has invited them back multiple times, as their fans have received Alborn well.
“(Sevendust and their fans) are as awesome as they could have possibly been,” Raser said. “The 7D fanbase is no joke, and to be well-received by them is an honor.”
Perhaps it’s their Midwestern roots, but Alborn, like many heartland acts, has been distinguished by their hard work ethic in constantly touring to break their music. Still, touring can be a slog, so how does the band get through it?
“Your mindset kind of just changes when you’re on the road for more than a few days,” Raser said. “We’re all really good friends outside of the band, so getting along in tight quarters is never a problem. We just always look for ways to keep busy when we aren’t working. Usually, the worst part is the driving from place to place. It just gets really monotonous, so we are always trying to come up with ways to keep the minds turning. Otherwise, we’d all go stir-crazy. We just try to keep the mindset that if you’re not giving it your all all the time, somebody else is. And that’s what it takes.
“Being on the stage is always going to be the best part of going out, for me at least,” Raser added. “There’s no other feeling like that adrenaline rush being up there with my closest friends. That really makes everything else all worth it. I also really enjoy having that reason to explore parts of the country I’ve never been to and seeing so many new places.”
Alborn after their performance at the Rust Belt in East Moline.
And new fans, which are quickly growing in number, enthralled by the group’s heavy melodic sound, reminiscent of ‘90s alt rock.
“The late grunge/nu metal stuff has always been my primary genre, and most of my influence comes out of that,” Raser said. “Our sound definitely has bits all over that are straight out of that catalogue. When Justin and I discovered (that music) back in high school, nothing else existed to us for months. Usually, I tell people that ask that our music has a lot of dynamic, ranging from super heavy to super light, so hopefully one can find at least something in there they like.”
It’s striking a chord, with Midwest fans in particular.
“It really shows at rock concerts in our area. The appetite for hard rock and metal is just booming,” Raser said. “There’s no questioning the rock community in the Quad Cities area and surrounding.
And no questioning the ambition and potential of Alborn.
“Hopefully we can just stay busy and keep touring/putting out music,” Raser said. “We would love to be able to become self-sufficient and turn this into a career someday.”
You can keep up with that career trajectory by checking out albornmusic.com for all things Alborn.
Alborn’s SOLD OUT show flyer