“How can you find legitimate piece of mind?” begs the opening lyric of Microcosms’ new single “Forget Us” in a lead vocal that’s been stained with angst-ridden frustration. The focused attack of these verses is one of the only points of streamlined consistency in this song, which I would absolutely deem to be Microcosms’ most cerebral release so far. “Forget Us” is a politically-charged punk rock anthem wrapped in vintage space rock and neo-psychedelia, and it’s easily among the more mind-bending material that I’ve had the opportunity to review in 2019.

The guitar play is rather guttural in a couple of spots here, while in others it verges on dreaminess that I would align more with post-punk than I would shoegaze. The contrast is essential to the mood that the band is trying to conjure up in this single, and through the beefy master mix, we’re able to appreciate the depth of Microcosms’ artistry in “Forget Us” without any sort of external filtration to come between us and the music. It’s a track that lives true to its punk rock roots, but definitely one that wouldn’t have been possible without this group’s experimental approach to songwriting.

This bassline has a lot of weight to it, but not so much that it drowns out the percussion’s textured wallop. Every element of this song, from the vocal to the grinding guitars back to the jagged edge of the drumbeat, plays a starring role in the grander scheme of things here, thus affording us a feel for the organic chemistry that Microcosms enjoy as a band. You can tell that no one is forcing their performance in “Forget Us;” in fact, quite the contrary – they’re playing for each other, and connecting without having to employ technologically sophisticated in-studio augmentations.

BANDCAMP: https://microcosms.bandcamp.com/

As previously noted, the mix that we encounter in this single is as beastly as they come, but personally I find its inelegance to be one of the most charming aspects of the song. I love the DIY feel to the instrumental side of “Forget Us,” and though the riffs crash into each other with the same unvarnished intensity that the drums do, the vocal track remains squeaky clean (a formula that instantly made me think of a Lincoln-era They Might Be Giants). This Chicago alternative rock outfit has come a long way in the last couple of years, and I really like the direction that they’re taking their sound in with this latest release.

Agile, aggressive and blissfully unconventional in all the right ways, “Forget Us” is a hit for Microcosms, whose style is becoming increasingly distinctive with every record that they’ve cut so far. This single has a lot of angularities to it, but even at its most abstract it never becomes inaccessible to the casual rock fan. The experimentalism that Microcosms embrace here makes me very curious to hear a full-length album from these guys at some point in the near future, and based on the buzz that this track is getting, I think we can expect to hear their first LP a lot sooner than later.

Sebastian Cole