Features October 4, 2023

Welcome to Thrash Hard City (Take Two)

by Landon Ungerman

On the first of April this year, Northern Colorado metal bands Thrash Hard City and Phantomstone played back-to-back opening sets at the Moxi Theater’s 10th anniversary. Each band was less than a year old and experiencing growing pains.

Growing Pains

Thrash Hard City’s rhythm section, composed of guitarist Jay Lee, bassist Isaac Mikael and drummer Matt Thompson, were gravitating toward a heavy sound that clashed with the hiphop stylings of their vocalist. Lead singer of Phantomstone, Austin Frick, hungered for a faster-paced schedule of writing and gigging than the rest of his band was ready for.

“I felt like I was in my prime and I just wanted to write and create lots of music,” Frick told BandWagon, “And we just weren’t getting that out.”

A Huge Coincidence

Two months later, Frick split with Phantomstone and gave Lee a call in search of a new project.

“He was like, ‘nobody tipped you off?’ I was like, ‘what do you mean?” Frick said.

He had called at the perfect time. Earlier that same day, Thrash Hard City had split with their vocalist. 

When Frick came in for a session, the whole band could feel the good chemistry.

“When things just go easy and it sounds great right away — you know you have something special,” Thompson said.

The New Thrash Hard City & The Alliance

Thrash Hard City’s new iteration, with Frick on vocals, has kept up a breakneck pace of writing and recording since forming in June. Their new EP, The Alliance, is out now and their first EP release show is on October 7 at the Moxi Theater in Greeley with In the Whale, Jesus Christ Taxi Driver and Defeats the Porpoise. On November 4, the band will join Draghoria, Goat Hill Massacre, Glass Helix and Burning Through Darkness for a second show at Lost Lake in Denver.

The Alliance may be Thrash Hard City’s first release with Frick on vocals, but they already sound like a well-oiled metal machine. The band chugs through monster riffs, blast beats and breakdowns as Frick alternates between screams, clean vocals and spoken word. The music is aggressive and energetic.

“Mosh Pit!”

In July, the band released the lead single from the EP, “Terrorizer,” a nü metal anthem that begs to be moshed to. After a thrashy opening riff, the music gets increasingly frenetic as Frick arrives at the chorus.

“Get to the club, get to the love, lose your mind,” Frick belts. Then the music drops out just long enough for him to growl, “terrorize.”

Frick’s delivery of the lyric is believably aggressive, but he doesn’t mean “terrorize” literally. He has a mosh pit in mind. Not a pit that makes people feel unsafe, but rather a pit that allows them to let loose and be themselves.

We’ll See You in Thrash Hard City

“If you’re frustrated, don’t go take that out on a girlfriend or mother or father or child. Come to a metal show and bounce around with some like-minded friends,” Frick said. “We’re definitely trying to influence some nasty pits.”

For the first few months with Frick at the helm, the band stayed off the stage and focused on writing and recording. But the club has always been in the back of their heads. Now that they are starting to play live, they hope to foster an inclusive scene — a scene where misfits and outsiders are encouraged to show up.

“Thrash Hard City is a destination where everyone feels welcome,” Lee told BandWagon.

The new EP from Thrash Hard City called The Alliance is out now and their EP release show is on October 7 at The Moxi Theater in Greeley with In The Whale, Jesus Christ Taxi Driver and Defeats the Porpoise.