SPEED Just Keep Crushing It, Drop Hectic New Single ‘THE FIRST TEST’

30 May 2024 | 3:53 pm | Ellie Robinson

The trailblazing hardcore band’s hotly anticipated debut album, ‘ONLY ONE MODE’, will be out in July.


SPEED (Credit: James Hartley)

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SPEED are, without a doubt, the hottest name in Australian hardcore right now – and the hype for their fast-approaching debut album, ONLY ONE MODE, couldn’t be more insane. As we gear up for its release, the Sydney (Eora) band have shared a new preview in the form of THE FIRST TEST.

It comes as the album’s second single, following the release of REAL LIFE LOVE back in April, and hits just as hard with its blistering drums, tearing riffs and gut-punching screams. According to a press release, the new track’s lyrics are about “finding oneself as a marginalised individual” – in the case of SPEED frontman Jem Siow, an Asian-born Australian – and the pursuit of “striking out alone and growing in a beautiful and ugly world”.

THE FIRST TEST arrives alongside a fittingly bonkers music video, which SPEED produced themselves alongside creative partners Jack Rudder and Thomas Elliot. Have a look at it below:

ONLY ONE MODE is primed for release on July 12 via Last Ride Records, landing amidst a sprawling tour of North America, Europe and the UK. As part of the run, they’ll take to the stage at the iconic Download Festival, joining fellow Aussies like Karnivool, Make Them Suffer and Thy Art Is Murder.

SPEED’s 2022 debut EP, Gang Called Speed, put their brand of Australian hardcore on the map and tracked journeys through the bandmates taking ownership of their identities. The band have made a name for themselves for rallying against intolerance and calling out racism, xenophobia and toxic masculinity in the hardcore scene.

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Upon the release of REAL LIFE LOVE, Siow opened up about his personal ethos: “My time in hardcore has informed the relationships I have with everyone I hold close. An unconditional sense of love and loyalty. A bond that knows no words. Relationships that now span a lifetime.

“To us, this unique sense of deep-seated understanding is the essence of [hardcore], it's what we're most passionate about and grateful for. Yet there are many in, and especially outside of this space who conflate this idea. If you stick around long enough, you might just get it. Otherwise, what's the point to all of this?”