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LIFE – ‘Popular Music’ Review plus Exclusive Interview

LIFE – ‘Popular Music’ Review plus Exclusive Interview

life-popular-musicLIFE are based in Hull, a classic underdog city made good by its new-found status as 2017 UK City of Culture.

They describe the album, “Popular Music sounds like panic and anxiety, it’s the sound of shitting it about whatever happens next week, about what you can weigh through on the self-checkout to get your beans cheaper. It’s an LP made up of the psyche of everyone who can see they’re getting fucked and there’s a lot of people getting fucked right now.”

The debut album is released on the 26th May and it opens with a group chant of It’s In Your Hands and then takes off into an Idles style punk rock track that I simply adored – it’s fresh, replete with an almost middle eastern sounding middle eight and some ironic and sarcastic lyrics dripping with anger…Wow!

Sugar God mixes some clips of shouts/conversations and then we are treated to a swirling guitar and vocals that reminded me of Mark E. Smith and The Fall. Go Go Go is rollicking rock n’ roll romp with some angular guitars and megaphone vocals. The fourth track is Rare Boots where a melodic guitar opening leads to a bass driven song with snarling vocals that marries the Sleaford Mods with The Vaccines…and that’s a combination that works to create something fresh, different and brilliant!

Membership Man is a bluesy tinged rocker and LIFE display another side to their style with the bass heavy Earthworm that just wriggles into your brain. The title track, Popular Music is simply superb with those snarling vocals and a rollicking backing that had me bouncing around the room. LIFE are the real deal, one of the freshest bands to enter the scene and you have to simply must check them out. On Electricity the band explore some atonal noise interspersed with aggressive sections – very creative!

LIFE show some tender touches on Beautifully Skint with a spoken word introduction building into emotional and angst ridden scream and then returning to the spoken word over a strummed guitar – it’s sublime, ironic and, for me, one of the tracks of 2017.  The penultimate song, BaBaBa starts with a punch to the face with full on punk rock and that punch is delivered again with the chorus whilst the verses let you get back to your feet before the blows come again!

Closing with Euromillions with some of the best lyrics I’ve heard in a while, LIFE deliver the full package. Brilliant!

Check out this excellent band here http://www.lifeband.co.uk and go see them live.

We caught up with Mez and Mick from the band for an interview about LIFE, the album and a few other things…

Punk Online: Can you tell us a bit more about LIFE? When & how you formed?

LIFE: – LIFE formed in a very similar way to how athletes foot forms; springing up in the sweaty crevices of the world and spreading. Myself and lead singer Mez met in our dads nut-sack, we found Loz in a shelter for abandoned bass players and stew came to us in a dream. Soggy.

Punk Online: Who are your influences?

LIFE: – We absorb a huge variety of influences really, from old school punk to modern hip-hop and grime. Recently on the road we’ve been chewing up a lot of Protomartyr, Idles and Run The Jewels. I guess we are influenced by everyday life, situations and culture. Everything that is happening in the UK and the world filters into our music as some sort of influence; sometimes its youth and pop culture, sometimes its the dark and twisted political world and sometimes its the constant streaming of mobile phone bum-fluff.

Punk Online: How would you describe your music?

LIFE: – The sound of instant coffee as it splatters on the cracked porcelain. This is the sound of anxiety about the future and anger at the present. Fast, immediate, aggressive.

Punk Online: What’s your viewpoint on the role of music as part of the resistance or antidote to the waves of populism taking over the world?

LIFE: –  Music is about empowerment and escapism. Music can inspire hope and change but it can also act like a comfort blanket or a safe retreat away from all the madness that is going on.

Punk Online: LIFE are obviously a political band – what really gets your backs up in the news today?

LIFE: -The constant spreading of fear, the horrible racist media-core. Teresa May is a puppet for Rupert Murdoch. In our opinion there is a total disregard for what we believe is the most exciting resource in the world and that is the youth. Young people are the future, embrace them before its too late.

Punk Online: Do you see the younger generation getting more into the movement?

LIFE: – The volume of young people who have just registered to vote is amazing. It’s going to be a powerful force, lets hope the revolution is coming and we throw out the Tories and their damaging ways.

Punk Online: What other bands do you like/dislike (past or present)?

LIFE: Like: Protomartyr, Idles, Dead Kennedys, The Pogues, The Fall, Pulp, Slaves

Dislike: Bono and Coldplay

Punk Online: Hull has been named as the 2017 City of Culture. How do you feel about that?

LIFE: – We’re buzzing for our city. Hopefully there will be more eyes on Hull over the next few years. There’s a great community of artists, musicians and writers here and it’s ace that people are beginning to recognize this.

Punk Online: Does the city you come from influence your lyrics and song writing?

LIFE: – Absolutely. We are underdogs from an underdog city. Grasping for a ledge to drag ourselves up on and gasping for air in a London-centric industry . We wont demand attention though; greatness always rips through. We are LIFE.

Punk Online: The new album is out at the end of May – what can we expect?

LIFE: – You can expect the sound of realness.

Punk Online: You are currently on the road – is playing live what it’s all about for you?

LIFE: – I hate it when bands complain about touring and performing. The best part of being in a band and making music is when you see your music hit the people in front of you. We play every show like its our last. Always energetic. Always on point. 

Punk Online: Do you see Radio 1 Big Weekend and Reading festivals as an opportunity to get your name out there?
LIFE: – I think you are only as big as your last show. We love playing, the status of the show is irrelevant. It’s great to play to a diverse range of people and shows like this certainly offer a diverse crowd.

Punk Online: Where would you like to see LIFE in the future? What are the plans?

LIFE: – We have an ace schedule that sees us going all across the UK and Europe during festival season. We want to give justice to the album and be on the road as much as we can. It’s how we buzz. We believe in living for the moment and everything right now feels tops.

 

A massive thank you to all involved who helped set up this interview and to the guys for taking time out to speak to us.

 

LIFE tour & festival dates:

27/05 RADIO 1’s BIG WEEKEND
29/05 – ROUGH TRADE EAST – LONDON
31/05 – ROUGH TRADE NOTTINGHAM – NOTTINGHAM
01/06 – SIRIUS ACADEMY (CITY OF CULTURE SHOW) – HULL
14/06 – PARISSUPERSONIC – PARIS, FRANCE
16/06 – THE MACBETH (PERMANENT CREEPS) – LONDON
21/07 – TRAMLINES – SHEFFIELD
22/07 – TRUCK FESTIVAL – OXFORDSHIRE
05/08 – HUMBER STREET SESH – HULL
25/08 – READING/LEEDS FESTIVAL – READING
26/08 – READING/LEEDS FESTIVAL – LEEDS
22/09 – HAMBURG REEPERBAHN FESTIVAL – GERMANY
30/09 – TENEMENT TRAIL FESTIVAL – GLASGOW

 

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