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Rarity Navigate the Subtle Nuances of Punk Rock With Lower Feeling

The Hamilton hardcore outfit carves out a unique space amid the current climate of aggressive bands. 

by Myles Tiessen

Rarity uses subtlety. It’s not a very common feature in punk or hardcore, and traditionally, the appeal to the genre is in its confident bluntness. But drummer Evan Woods, singer Loeden Learn, guitarist Adam Clarke, and bassist Cole Gardner infuse a unique delicacy into their production and song structure, pushing their new album, Lower Feeling, through a crowded space full of their contemporaries. 

What Rarity does best is tease pop-punk elements within the tracks while retaining an organic edge of traditional punk and the dynamism of post-hardcore. From the hot break and switch on “OKAY,” including its tightly intertwined guitar and drum rhythm, to continuously shifting vocal distortion and effects and the concrete thick bass lines, Lower Feeling is the most rewarding with closely attentive ears. 

But the most evident standout track is the slow “who gives a fuck.” The most muted track of the whole album eventually and rewardingly explodes as Learn melodically sings: “A little narcissism for your mental health/ And you’re wrong, and you’re fucking selfish/Don’t complain and just embrace nobody gives a fuck anyway.”

Staring the threat of existentialism dead in the eyes isn’t easy, but Learn does it with an inspiring level of confidence. He uses these words as an act of resistance, and by drawing attention to them and stating them blankly, he creates a new space for processing and understanding the world around him.