Golden Shower Radio Hour
Episode # 009 UK Noise
Curated by Kunal
Download or Listen
Hello from the UK! That green and pleasant land... or so it appears but beneath the surface, noise rock is alive and well here as I hope this selection of bands shows. There are plenty of other bands that I would have liked to have included, but time restrictions apply, I wanted to keep it current(ish) and I didn't want to stray too far into other genre territories, although maybe I already did that a bit here and there. Whatever.
Full discloure: I play in some of these bands and a number of them have released things on my label (SuperFi - www.superfirecords.co.uk). Hopefully I'm not coming across as too self-serving.
Art Of Burning Water - Snake State Nausea
A London trio that has been going for about a thousand years. I am the 8th person to play bass, but the other two guys have been doing it since the begining. This track opens Side B of our fifth LP. Think Voivod, Killing Joke, Keelhaul, American Heritage, but maybe a bit faster and you're in the general ballpark.
Screen Wives - Elocution Test No. 3
A pretty new band that just did a cracking six track LP of awkward, frenetic, noisy and discordant post-hardcore done in a quintessentially British manner. Melody always runs through it though. The drummer is a firecracker and consistently chucks something up from the effort of playing live. Buy the LP and check out the excellent lovelorn lyrics.
Wolfbait - Thrall
I'm cheating here as these guys are (were?) actually from Ireland, but screw the extortionate ferry prices because their debut tape is incredible. A melting pot of Swans-esque dirge, experimental noise and full-on scum-punk. Unique and upsetting.
Tide Of Iron - Bill Cosby
Hailing from Newcastle, TOI were an absolute breath of fresh air, keeping things loose and noisy, chugging or blasting away without really sounding like anyone in particular. The topically titled "Bill Cosby" has a crushing riff give way to a joyously simple chord progression, before collapsing into a near freakout, all in the space of just over a minute. Drummer Rob, like many drummers I suppose, has served time in about 1000 bands, but it's cool that he got to do the shouting in this one.
Palehorse - Don't Bitch My Shit
West London born and bred. Been going since 2000, with some lineup changes here and there, but crucially the two-bass, no-guitar setup has remained. Mark from Trencher contributes noise and more vocals now, and that's coupled with grooves a mile wide, locked down by one of the best drummers around.
Mob Rules - Worked On
One of the smartest and inventive UK bands that operate within the realm of "hardcore punk", these guys take plenty of noise rock influences in amongst the powerviolence. This track is from their album of a few years ago because I haven't got the new one yet. I'm sure it's great though.
Ghold - Elvira
This bass, drums and yelling duo's setup might remind you of Big Business, and that's no bad thing because these guys are similarly stonking live. Churning, driving, sludgy, inventive and just plain great. New album this year apparently.
Kind Eyes - Chug It Out
Unusual and inventive guitar and drums duo, harking back to the classic days of Gravity Recs styled emo, mixing things up and experimenting wildly whilst always keeping an eye on "the rock". Download their stuff now and buy the LP later.
Bastard Of The Skies - Yarn
A great, pretty long-running Manchester area band bordering on a super-heavy High On Fire-esque doom tip while keeping it negative and nasty. Evil stuff.
Cop - Hard to Swallow
Urgent, driving punk rock reminiscent of classic DC hardcore, Unwound and the like. Noel from this band played in Facel Vega, one of the best bands the UK has ever produced in my opinion.
Carer - You Hippies
Kind of got that Drunk In Hell (see later) vibe going on with the wayward filthiness that cakes this demo from a couple of years ago. Not sure if they are doing anything any more though.
Henry Blacker - Your Birthday Has Come And Gone
Crunchy, gloomy, no frills grungy stuff from a bunch of dads. Tim and Joe also play in Hey Colossus, but this band keeps things stripped down, focussed and melodic. New album soon I hope.
Skylark - Broken Feet
A bunch of young bucks who have been around the block several times already, these guys make clattering, stop-start hardcore punk that always keeps things rocking and flowing. This track is from the split 7" with goodtime stoner blasters Meadows.
Lupins - Blood Test
Prior to splitting, Lupins were a trio with a purportedly combined age of over 150! So they know a thing or two, most certainly about making churning, depressing, atmospheric noise rock. Excellent live and Will is an exceptional bassist. Much too short-lived, hopefully something comes from the ashes.
The Good Wife - Most Girls Are Potato
Pretty much at odds with the universe let alone the UK scene, TGW are fairly un-google-able thanks to that TV show with the nurse from ER in it. The kind of sleaze you might find in the philosophy aisle of your local library, this is riffy and shouty and all kinds of great. Now defunct but their last album is up on the interweb.
Field Boss - Farm
Formerly known as Tractor but had to change our name for legal reasons. I drummed for this one and it was slow going and dysfunctional, but that kind of fits the sound. Straight up simple bass and drums locked together, while guitar noise and yelling washes around on top. Fun to play, murder to hear.
Lich - Deep Wastes
Straying a bit into metal hardcore territory here but Lich were so good and the song's short anyway. Absolutely evil, feedback drenched and downtuned to hell, I managed to see these guys a bunch of times and they just got better and better and better.
Nadir - Time Of The Wolf
Nottingham has a great scene, bolstered by a solid core of people who have been doing the band and promoting thing for years. Nadir have members who also play or played in Army of Flying Robots, Bismuth, Diet Pills, Endless Grinning Skulls, Nacht Und Nebel, Beast As God - all well worth checking out. Nadir is bordering on doom, but this shorter track of theirs has a nasty set of riffs that you deserve to hear. Also best use of theremin since... er, Good Vibrations?
Workin' Man Noise Unit - Yellow Mind
Swirling, psychedelic, psychotic garage punk influenced action from these guys. Imagine the Stooges, MC5, Stones etc mixed in with a shit-ton of effects and genuine drunken anger. More please!
Drunk In Hell - Chick Flick
Drunk In Hell have already achieved legendary status without releasing much more than a rehearsal space boombox recording (from which this is taken). It must be tricky to capture the filth, keeping it listenable without losing the grit. I think the boombox worked perfectly. Records and gigs are promised this year though (I think they said that last year too). All of them are distracted by other projects (Basic House, Bong etc) and drummer Gillham has been in loads of punk and noise bands. Anyway, this band pound it out, one riff at a time, and it's basically perfect.