Shin Guard are a four-piece hardcore/screamo/emo band from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that began in 2017. Their sound has progressed a lot since their inception. Beginning with the Five Songs EP, they play with a heavy influence from other PA natives, including Tigers Jaw and Balance & Composure, with hints of La Dispute in the heavier moments. Their following release, Cerebral, is a honeypot of sounds, melting screamo, emo, spoken word, post-rock, and pop punk sounds into a cohesive tracklist and emotional gut-punch. It takes a lot of sounds and influences you might have heard elsewhere, and blends it all into this one project, with the band’s tightness coming through in how seamless and unique they pull it off.
This year’s 2020 is their biggest departure to date, bringing in a much heavier sound with predominantly screamed vocals, and these dueling/shredding guitars and metal-esque riffs. There are still remnants of their past work, particularly in the more atmospheric instrumentals and spoken word parts, but they have more or less made the undeniable transition into hardcore territory.It’s a cacophony of insanity, but they pull off this full-on direction flawlessly, creating a brutal yet engaging project along the way. I cannot recommend this band enough, since their whole catalog is so eclectic, and falls under virtually every banner this blog has ever featured on here. Enjoy.