Earlier this year, abrasive British punk two-piece Crashface released Heavy Infectious, a bouncing, electronic tinged five track EP in the vein of Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes and Black Futures. We caught up with frontman Charlie Hinton to speak about the music that got him through lockdown and ready to embrace the opening of live music again. Here’s what he said:
This pandemic has been the most difficult time for everyone, that’s for sure, and especially so for musicians and creatives alike. Everyone has their comforts, the devices that help them navigate through bullshit, and mine is music. So when I’m not writing myself, I’m usually just in complete awe of the people around me, so here are the top 10 artists that have helped me through lockdown, and have just smashed it through a fucking pandemic.
I only started listening to Phoebe at the start of 2020, but that was just in time to a) witness the beautiful release of Punisher and, b) to have a reason to be as sad as the music made me feel. This is one of those albums that transports you, really moves you to a different state of mind, and this exceptional record combined with the fact she has been blazing through innovative live performances, like her Oval Office Tiny Desk and smashing shit up on SNL, the world would just be a darker place without her.
The loudest, sexiest and most obnoxious thing to come out of the UK & NI perhaps this century, and 2 people I am very proud to call my mates, Wargasm have given so many people the fire to kick through the noise and bullshit of a global pandemic. Consistently brilliant in writing, production and visuals, once you take your first ride with them you cannot get off. A band who only started up 6 months or so before the world shut down, but have not let it slow them one bit. My personal highlights include the absolute candy bomb that is ‘Backyard Bastards’, destroying the main stage of the Download Pilot, and having recorded more live stream shows than anyone else, probably ever, do not sleep on Milkie and Matlock.
This is a bit of a cheat one, because I know they haven’t really released anything new recently bar a live album, but man I just love these guys. Every time I revisit their records I just fall in love with them for a new reason all over again, serious replayability. It’s not just the sheer music talent either, but the theatrics of the tracks, the dynamics of the album as it flows, each one a masterpiece. My personal favourite would have to be City Of Evil, but man all the others come close. And who doesn’t love 11 minute tracks with 5 guitar solos?!
Purple Disco Machine
This dude is all about the feelgood. I’ve been a huge fan for a couple years now, and there’s very few better ways to shake the pandemic blues than a booming kick drum and amazing synth bass work. Every track just makes me want to dance, and he has been all over the place with collabs too, the most notable actually being with one of my old uni mates Sophie from Sophie and the Giants! (Also great). Check out the aforementioned ‘Hypnotised’ or my personal favourite, his edit of a Yusek track ‘Showbiz’.
Man where to begin. Most of you are probably already super aware of these guys at this point, but goddamn, they’re just doing it like no one else right now. And it always speaks volumes of an artist when it’s not just the music you want to stick around for. The vision Olli has and elaborates on throughout the tracks and videos and merchandise is just jaw dropping. Wrap up your deepest, darkest, but fondest feeling evoked from the likes of The Used and revenge-era My Chem, and pair it with a super polished but industrial look, a match made in heaven but sounds like beautiful hell. All the tracks they’ve put out so far are outstanding, but my personal recommendation would have to be ‘for the attention of…’. Static Dress people. Static Dress.
I stan. I’ve been a huge fan of these guys since before they dropped their first record Double Dare, and I knew they were onto a winner. Every album has seen them grow exponentially, not just in music ability or dynamics, but the production throughout their latest album Greatest Hits is hyper-space-fuzzy-goodness. I really didn’t know how else to put it. From the dreamy drum and bass inspired ‘Secret Life Of Me’ to the bouncing Beastie Boys-esque ‘LIKE IT’, you just can’t fault these guys. Awsten you still owe me some HEB OJ and I’ll collect it one day. Listen to Greatest Hits.
Vampire slaying, axe wielding legends, I love these guys. If you want riffs, blood, and everything in between, check out their mini-album Vampire. Another stomping fuck you coming from hard times and sharpest lives, full of sickly sweet vocal layers and fuzz that’s just off the chain, they know how to cut through. Another band that absolutely murdered the Download Pilot main stage and in my opinion, thoroughly deserved it.
REPENT.AVA AKIRAHYERPOP REJOICE.
Another quite recent discovery on my end, I met Ava at a WARGASM show last year and we hit it off immediately! I actually knew her prior, as the girl from Tokky Horror (again, also insane), so to find out she has this entire other side to her was so sick. The production value never misses, with her consistent collaborations with phonewifey being a breath of fresh community-driven air. Just waiting for SOMEONE to cover her tracks in Punk goes Pop style now. Personal shout from me is ‘Locket’, especially that ‘Gotta Go Fast Edit’. Scorchin’.
Another boot to the face, DEATH TOUR hail from the states but man their presence is felt over here. Abrasive and fierce like a glittery fuckin’ chansaw, these guys have range. Their work rate has been insane too, putting out banger after banger without letting up, it’s punk, metal, hyperpop, donk and all of the above in a sweaty orgy. They just dropped their EP D*E*S*T*R*O*Y and it’s a lockdown essential for me. They just need to hurry up and get their asses to London already. My favourite has gotta be ‘Strictly 4 My Divaz’, a pure sex weapon of a track. They’re not gonna slow down, so keep your eyes on DEATH TOUR.
HENRY JACKMAN/DOMINIC LEWIS
So I’m gonna end on a bit of a weird one, but with all this time inside I’ve taken up watching some TV shows that have been on my list for a WHILE, and Henry Jackman and Dominic Lewis are the minds behind the music of ‘The Man In The High Castle’. I’ve become obsessed with this show and a big part of that is the musical choices. All the scenes are so haunting yet urgent, and they even drop in some Beethoven here and there which never goes amiss. People often overlook this genre of music, but try to watch your favorite shows or movies without any music, man it is a dull experience.
So there you have it! My, Charlie from CRASHFACE’s, top 10 lockdown artists. Please check them all out and let them know I sent you, and take care of yourselves. Make sure you, like I do with music, have that device that allows you to relax, because this has been hard on everyone, so let’s put it in the fucking ground. 🙂
We’ve just dropped our debut EP ‘HEAVY INFECTIOUS’ so go stream that infinitely, and we’re touring the UK this November so grab a ticket and I’ll see you there! BYEEE.
You can catch Crashface at the following dates:
November 23rd – Bristol, Rough Trade
November 24th – Manchester, Gullivers.
November 26th – Birmingham, Muthers
November 27th – London, The Grace