By Alex Peterson
Local Memphian screamo act Ten Crowns are making a name for themselves nearly a year after forming in early 2021. The group is very prolific in the scene, playing at countless venues all over Memphis alongside other phenomenal local punk acts. The group recounts opening for touring metalcore act SeeYouSpaceCowboy at Growlers last year as one of their favorites. Rhythm guitarist Alex Harris remembers feeling particularly elated after seeing the news on their phone, despite being in the midst of a feverish mosh pit at a 100 Gecs show in Nashville. 10 Crowns does their best to bring the frenetic energy of hardcore punk with the spirit of early 2000s scene bands in Memphis.
The early 2000s comes up in 10 Crowns’ music in subtle ways. Vocalist Morgan Ballard takes inspiration from golden-age scenecore bands like Attack Attack!, and sonically 10 Crowns has been influenced by early aughts post-hardcore, From First to Last being listed as an influence in particular. Their more recent material delves into more ‘emoviolence’ territory (a portmanteau of emo and powerviolence, an extreme metal genre) and lists early 2000s act Orchid in specific.
Love for the decade also comes with the members’ appreciation for video games from the time, listing everything from role playing games to Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3. On the topic of favorite Pokemon, Charizard was listed in very high regard.
The band carries this playful attitude within their song titles, which are very reminiscent of the sarcastic titles of screamo’s heyday, like the crowd favorite “dad gave me my khakis but god gave me my dad” or their latest single “sometimes hoverboards are a bad idea” (featuring p.s.you’redead). The newer single is a bit different than their earlier work, but still has an intense punch. It has much of the early aughts metalcore edge, jagged guitar riffs, guttural vocals, and a post-chorus fit for ‘crabcore’ headbanging.
After performing for nearly a year, the group has loved seeing people come out and showing up. The crowds have gotten especially chaotic over the last couple months. Given their relentless schedule of live performances, there are plenty of upcoming opportunities to see them. The group’s next show will be with Guerilla Warfare, Fox Lake, and Promise Breaker at the Hi Tone on June 12th. They are also planning on playing out of Memphis in Nashville and Murfreesboro over the summer. On the topic of new material, the group are planning on putting out singles sometime in the near future. So if you’re looking for something edgy to soundtrack your emo summer, make sure to keep 10 Crowns in mind.
For any last words, Alex insisted that I add the following: “Do not go to the spooky island castle!” I am not sure exactly what it means, but they were adamant that I include it.