A Boston-based hardcore band whose musical intensity has been channeled through a series of interconnected thematic releases, Defeater established themselves with releases like 2008's Travels and 2013's Letters Home. Their sound combines melodic hardcore with post-hardcore and emo elements that they further honed as part of the Epitaph roster, as heard on their eponymous 2019 release.
Defeater originally formed in 2004, and after several years of lineup changes, eventually landed on vocalist Derek Archambault, guitarists Jay Maas and Jake Woodruff, bassist Mike Poulin, and drummer Joe Longobardi. Conceptually inclined from the very beginning, their debut album, Travels (2008), introduced a narrative which chronicled an unnamed, post-WWII working-class family and their complicated, dysfunctional relationships. Initially signed to Topshelf, Defeater moved to Bridge Nine Records to release their next two LPs, Empty Days & Sleepless Nights (2011) and Letters Home (2013), each of which provided a new chapter in the fictional family's extended universe. In 2015, Defeater signed with Epitaph Records to release their fourth album, Abandoned. Not long after its release, the group parted ways with guitarist Jay Maas, who was replaced by Adam Crowe. Following a brief hiatus from touring, Defeater entered the studio with veteran producer Will Yip (Quicksand, Title Fight, Lauryn Hill) and recorded their self-titled fifth LP, which Epitaph released in 2019. ~ Timothy Monger & Jason Lymangrover