Illawarra products Totally Unicorn are set to unleash a new album which exorcises some personal demons.
The now Sydney-based heavy music outfit will release second album Sorry on April 12 via Wollongong label The Farmer and the Owl.
“This record is like my therapy, to get all my shit out there and go, 'this is what’s going on with me',” frontman Drew Gardner said.
“It’s weird. The whole thing about this band is having fun, the live show is crazy, but it’s like the sad clown.
"The front is, ‘ha ha, good times’, but he’s going through some shit. And this is what I’m going through right now.”
Sorry tackles subjects such as his divorce, the reality of ageing while still making bad lifestyle decisions, and abusing substances as a coping mechanism.
“Lots of things have gone on in the past two years since the last record,” the vocalist said.
“Lots of substance abuse, losing friends due to relationships, dealing with my own sadness in myself and not being confident in who I am."
Although still offering moments of trademark fury, overall Sorry marks a stylistic shift from their chaotic, technically proficient mix of punk, hardcore and metal.
The band’s goal to simplify their sound coincided with the arrival of drummer Adam Myers in 2017.
Totally Unicorn also became a four-piece that year following the departure of guitarist Kerim Erkin.
“With a new drummer and one guitarist down, we were starting with a relatively clean slate writing Sorry, so what better time to put the practice of simplicity in place?” guitarist Aaron Streatfeild said.
“I feel Sorry still maintains the band’s identity, but its back-to-basics songwriting allows room for each instrument to breathe.”
Gardner said he couldn’t have dreamed of creating an album with the musical depth of Sorry when he formed Totally Unicorn in Wollongong in 2010.
The band soon developed a reputation for unpredictable, high-energy live shows.
Before long they were supporting acts such as Violent Soho, Frenzal Rhomb and The Dillinger Escape Plan, as well as headlining their own national tours.
“There have been many near-death experiences,” Gardner said of their live performances.
“I’ve fallen off the bar and flipped on my head and knocked myself out."