Monday, June 28, 2021

The Lounge Society Produce Powerful Statements On Debut EP ‘Silk For The Starving’

The Valleys and hills of the idyllic West Yorkshire town of Hebden Bridge have recently seen an influx of post-punk bands, making it one of the most exciting musical places in England. 

Following on from the likes of Working Mens Club and The Orielles, who are also based in and around the Calder Valley, The Lounge Society prove once again that life outside the big cities isn’t all flat caps and village fairs.

Having already been played on BBC Radio 6 and with a tour lined up later this year, the bands highly anticipated debut EP ‘Silk For The Starving’ has finally been releasedThe four-piece, not recently out of college, consists of Cameron Davey (vocals/bass) Herbie May (guitar) Hani Paskin-Hussain (guitar) and Archie Dewis (drums) whilst their raucous EP, fuelled by anger and malaise, provides the ideal soundtrack to the end of a functioning society. 

Burning the heather is commonplace on the moorlands of the North of England. The purpose is to rejuvenate life in the soil and allow new nutrients to flourish, producing a better diet for local livestock. Yet, on the opening track ‘Burn the Heather’, we find a band more interested in destroying the current insidious bramble that has twisted its way through our lives, rather than building a new one. The act of heather burning is often synonymous with land-owning gentry clearing space for grouse hunting. In the song, The Lounge Society play caricatures of the tweed-wearing farmers that wreak havoc on the local wildlife for their own morally bankrupt purposes.  

The funk bass intro and spoken vocals are unique in their delivery, whilst disco beat drums and rhythmic guitar keep the track rolling along. The conclusion is a blend of sounds and wailing reverb that supplies a haunting outro to the band’s first major affirmation. 

‘Television’ sees a change in tempo as the music becomes quicker and more urgent. Disillusioned by the state of the broadcasting world, where programmes focus on the negative as “Tragedy makes for good TV”, the 4 lads want changeThe Lounge Society are not sitting on their laurels – the angry retort that “He who sleeps on silk will wake tomorrow in the gutter” shows an ideal of revolution that impacts like a brick through a window, shattering the glass of the brainwashed masses. 

Cain and Abel, according to The Bible, were the first sons of Adam and Eve. Both sacrificed to God, however, the creator favoured Abel and in a fit of rage and jealousy, Cain slew his brother. The track ‘Cains Heresy’ may find inspiration from a brotherly feud but its main topic of anger at the political classes and corporate power are straight-up punk ideals that have been around for decades. In an interview with DIY Magazine, the band claim that the song is their last stand in the war on culture being waged by corporations and, whilst the lyrics are raw and damning of those in power – “The death of four souls is less than a kick in the teeth for them” – the music is fast and angry with a northern swagger. 

The final track, ‘Valley Bottom Fever’, bemoans people who refuse to leave the comfort of their hometown due to fear of difference. The spaghetti western intro soon gives way to the awakening sound of pounding drums and distorted guitars. The music is of sharp contrast to the opening track on the EP, almost as if the band have descended into a frenzy of despair and anger throughout the 13-minute run time. The end of the song finds The Lounge Society giving in to some unseen pressure; No longer playing coherent music, it’s almost as if the band are signifying the confusion and madness of the cultural mess we find ourselves in. 

On paper, a band of four angry teenagers should not be able to make an EP as statement-filled and profoundly deep as they do on ‘Silk For The Starving’. Yet somehow, they manage to portray the angst and disillusionment of an entire lost generation through music and lyrics that take shot at politicians, corporations and the communities they have a merciless grip over. With Bible references and a plethora of genres, The Lounge Society truly have created something special, and I for one am now a fully-fledged member. 

James Ogden 
Image: Piran Aston 

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