“No one wants another twelve songs of recycled chord progressions.” Why you need CHEW MAGNA in your life.
MANCHESTER’S cacophonous craftsmen CHEW MAGNA today unleash their blistering and diverse eponymous debut album.
And it’s much more than just an onslaught of decibel-destroying fuzz, with the four-piece taking inspiration from their vast record collections laying down an ambitious record that swerves between Indie Rock, Krautrock, Post-Hardcore, Punk, Noise Rock, and Shoegaze.
“We wanted to create a varied record that gives a nod to loads of our favourite bands from the ‘70s onwards, and isn’t necessarily beholden to traditional, vocal led song structures,” explained singer Laurie Hulme. “This album was largely written, and in the most part recorded, just as the first pandemic lock down hit. It put the brakes on releasing it, but also meant we could insert a couple of newer songs and switch up what made it on to the record.”
After one listen it’s clear the band have succeeded in their pursuit of variation.
“The album is very much the product of our disparate influences. Our process is very much a jam band approach, which doesn’t work for every group. But we are at our best at the event horizon of a new idea, working it out and building a structure as we go. This can be either incredibly quick – a couple of these songs arrived pretty much fully formed – or can really drag if we don’t click with an idea quickly,” he added.
‘Stubborn Knots’ sees the four-piece settle into a Fugazi inspired groove, while ‘4232,’ a joyful song about being set free, nods towards Sonic Youth. ‘Pretty Loose’ explores the hopelessness of revenge, provoked by the film ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,’ while ‘Secrets’, a poppy indie rock anthem, is buried under unyielding guitar squall.
“What we love about it is the journey through different styles, genres, and the hint of our different influences. There are some really distorted and noisy bits, some quiet sections, and some desert stoner elements that segue straight into post hardcore and punk riffs. There is some real motorik kraut rock parts, and songs that have more to do with the jangly end of ‘90s indie.
“But the joy for us is not resting on a type of music we think Chew Magna is or should be but be open to experimentation. The journey between peak and trough is where we find our reason for being a band. And in a world where guitar music isn’t necessarily in vogue, no one wants another twelve songs of recycled chord progressions.”
Assembled after stepping back from their former musical outfits, guitarist Simon (Young British Artists), drummer Ben (Young British Artists), bassist Joel (Jane Weaver, Frances Lung), and Hulme, are already turning their thoughts – perhaps somewhat tentatively – towards their next release.
“For now, we’ll see how this album goes and plot our next steps,” said Hulme. “We are careful not to rush. We aren’t chasing hype or other expectations of the music industry machine. We’ll do what we want when we are ready to do it.
“But behind the scenes we have a load of hibernating songs, at least another albums worth. Some of those we’ll play live but haven’t yet committed them to record. Again, it’s a real mixed bag. Ideas that have their origins in something resembling Sonic Youth noise, with other ideas spiralling out into ‘70s tinged, pysch bands.”
‘Chew Magna’ is released through Stray Cat Records on limited edition vinyl, and digitally across all streaming platforms.