Baltimore hardcore band Sharptooth will follow their 2017 debut LP Clever Girl with their sophomore album, Transitional Forms, on July 10 via Pure Noise (pre-order), and we're premiering second single "The Gray." Vocalist Lauren Kashan tells us about the message behind the song:

I’ve always seen “The Gray” as the emotional and conceptual turning point of the entire record, and arguably the most important song on it. Over the years, I’ve noticed how uncomfortable people are with nuance; whether that be in public discourse or personally. It doesn’t help that so many facets of our culture are presented in binaries: “You’re ‘woke’ or you’re ‘cancelled’. You have depression, or you don’t. You’re a man, or you’re a woman. You’re a democrat or you’re a republican.“

I find it fascinating that the idea of taking in new information and changing your views based on that novel information or experience is pretty foreign to far too many of us (which is wild when you consider that the thing human beings excel at, above all else, is being adaptable.) I feel like there’s so much pressure in modern society to align yourself with a specific polarity or to exist only within a binary, be it social, political, or personal, and then only to relinquish it when it’s been pried from your cold, dead hands. I myself have fallen into that trap again and again; it’s so easy when you are continually fed information that reinforces said binary, or the permanence of one’s condition.

But nothing in the world or in ourselves is absolute, and nothing changes when we are only acknowledging constructs as black or white and utterly immutable. True progress can only happen when we make a decision to step outside of this way of thinking, and explore nuance.

So what’s “The Gray” about? It’s about the search for and discovery of a world beyond binaries, beyond textbooks, beyond diagnoses, beyond red or blue. It’s about the power we unlock when we make that discovery. It’s about neuroplasticity, and the ability of each and every one of us to change our minds, both conceptually and literally. It’s about the ways that I have intentionally destroyed so many of these constructs in my life, so as to reshape my own existence, and rewire the very neuronal pathways inside my own brain. I hope it inspires others to find that power within themselves, because I believe that when we embrace the grey areas in life and in ourselves is where we can finally begin to cultivate real and tangible hope.

Musically, it's sort of a mix of Modern Life Is War-ish melodic hardcore and some chuggier metallic hardcore too, and Lauren goes back and forth between a vicious scream and some pretty pristine clean vocals. It's great stuff -- listen and watch the lyric video below.

Sharptooth also have multiple items available in their webstore to benefit Black Lives Matter and bail out donations, including two "no peace without justice" shirts and a facemask. Read their statement below.

Also watch the awesome video for opening song "Say Nothing (In The Absence Of Content)," which Lauren explains like this: "I wanted to take the sonic aspects of a genre that is so rooted in hypermasculinity—often to the point of toxicity—and steep it in things that a lot of culture looks down on, and that I absolutely happen to adore: femininity and mainstream pop music."

Transitional Forms also includes "Mean Brain," which came out as a single last year:

1. Say Nothing (In The Absence Of Content)
2. Mean Brain
3. Life On The Razor’s Edge
4. Hirudinea
5. The Gray
6. Evolution
7. 153
8. The Southern Strategy
9. M.P.D.B (Manic Pixie Dream Bitch)
10. Nevertheless (She Persisted)


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