Aberdare, Mountain Ash, the welsh valleys, places known for trapping genres like metal, rock and punk, a timeless inescapable region where leather jackets, black T-shirts and down tuned guitars have roamed free and easy, occasionally venturing down to the towns and cities to remind everyone else that musical progress isn’t always required or needed and in fact why not remain utterly stagnant?

For one trio this has not been an option and somehow, nestled in amongst the sweaty hoodies left by the generations of unflinching dad-punk residents of Aberdare the flowers of avante-garde electro-fuelled art punk has been able to flourish, culminating a sound that sits somewhere between John Otway and OMD. With the instrumental severity of Black Light Ascension and the fun and throwaway wist of Peter Andre drunkenly getting up on stage with The Pet Shop Boys HEAD NOISE provide a hypnotic, head-bopping series of tunes that accompany any montage you might require. Seriously, put them on and do house work, you’ll get loads done.

Comprising of Mitch Tennant, Wayne Bassett and Jordan Brill the trio crack out the Korg and Keytar to bring something fun to the table. They produce their own high quality DIY music videos which not only nod to the overall silliness of some music videos out there already but also ramp up the overall entertainment of the band as a whole – reminding us that it’s possible to blend seriousness and silliness, to remind us that art isn’t all fancy words and simulacra, but rather it’s whatever the creators and consumers want it to be – an escape, a bit of a fun, something to dance to, that can contain a message without weighing us down in an already heavy and ashen world.

Shot somewhere between the red room and a three-bedroom semi the videos remind me of David Lynches’ words on fishing out ideas from one’s mind and just running with it. Here is an example of people who have run with it and produced something wholesome and fun. That isn’t to say that any of the light-heartedness devalues their abilities, this is proven when listening to their tune Finally Snapped¬†which features a darker, more sombre tone, you become more aware of the nuances throughout and their appreciation of composition and arrangement, once you recognise this it becomes obvious that they know how to produce a balanced and nutritious track that retains all the required atmosphere and feeling to accomodate the subject matter.

The band has already shared stages with some greats from Electric 6 to Public Service Broadcasting and it strikes me that they have no shortage of ideas or drive that could see them play alongside the likes of Kanye and Sade in years to come. Like the aforementioned John Otway it seems they are on a journey to do what they do to see if they can, and it looks like they can and indeed ARE. They’ve made a number of releases including “Special Effects Improves Defects”, “Microwave” and “Uber-Fantastique” with the latter being released on CD and selling out rather quickly. The latter also seeing a release that came in a plastic barrel of goodies, including a USB pen, sticker, badge and magnet (I mean, wow?!)

200,000 Gallons of Oil is their latest hit to be released and like some of their other tunes feature one of their incredibly entertaining and well put together music videos. As some of you may know, The Shonk has recently taken to producing music videos and so we’ve come to fully appreciate the level of effort, time and vision required in creating under 4 minutes of non-sequitur footage to accompany an already creatively exhausting to make tune! Their knowledge of special effects from stop-motion to ‘black and white bar some colours’ are worthy of laudation.

The tune is confident, polished and timeless, there aren’t many scenarios where it wouldn’t be appropriate to play, or it wouldn’t sit right, I think even at a funeral it would get people pumped up and jigging in the rows! They clearly have a sound and aesthetic that they’re comfortable with and that works perfectly with everything they are bringing to the table. 200,000 Gallons of Oil is another in a long line of repeat worthy tunes and we sure hope that they are going to continue to produce further hits.

I already sense that their first time audiences consist of people who fall immediately in love with them and people who think ‘what the f*ck am I watching’ and we have all the time in the world for bands who are happy to bewilder and confuse those who can’t take the time to understand what is going on!

200,000 Gallons of Oil can be enjoyed with the video below, and below that are links to their appropriate pages and below that is nothing really, it’s the end of the article!


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About dukeofearl 67 Articles
Duke Of Earl was carried across from the corporate takeover in 2009, he was allowed to continue a service to The Shonk as a holistic journalist but was disavowed as Arbiter due to shenanigans.


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