demob happy - "dead dreamers" - taste & tone


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Armed only with an arsenal of guitars and northern chips on their slender shoulders, Demob Happy are here to wage a war on cultural mediocrity and political complacency - and they won’t quit until they’ve flipped wigs and taken scalps. Their targets are legion: Politicians and self servers. Big business and the banking system. Trust fund fuckers. Anything that falls under the umbrella of mediocrity, cultural or otherwise.

 This Newcastle-spawned, Brighton-based trio had a sound to match their invective. Drawing on the likes of Nirvana, Queens of The Stone Age, Melvins, The Beatles, The Stooges and Kyuss for source material, theirs is off-kilter pop music wrapped up in a barbed-wire body bag, dunked in honey and left out in a woodland clearing for the feral beasts to peck and pick apart. Heavy, heady and with a set of snarling teeth.

Returning with the first new music since their acclaimed debut album ‘Dream Soda’ in new single, ‘Dead Dreamers’ the band are back at their best. Bitter sweet melody set atop brawling guitars and unrelenting drums, with one eye on what is beautiful, and one eye on what makes the world stink.  With Tom Dalgety at the helm, fresh from work with Pixies, Royal Blood & Ghost, ‘Dead Dreamers’ is a force of nature.

“The world tried to set itself on fire the last year, us included,” frontman Matt Marcantonio explains.
“We had to mutate and figure out what this band was, so we just wrote and wrote until we knew. Dead Dreamers is a reflection of that. We expelled our demons, along with the worlds’. We wrote the best stuff we've ever written.”

With their debut single heralded as “a joyride through rock’s sleazier back alleys” by the Guardian, Demob Happy have asserted themselves as an unstoppable sonic force since their inception. Their debut album ‘Dream Soda’ was dubbed “a frantic, fucked-up mission statement to rival the best of the year” by DIY Magazine, “absolutely chockablock with good fucking songs” by the NME, and further high praise from the likes of Upset Magazine, Clash, Classic Rock, The 405, Team Rock, Total Guitar Magazine and many more.

Formed as teens in Newcastle in 2008, where they festered in their own juices and suffered daily derision. Matt’s early diet of Supertramp, 10CC and The Beatles created an infatuation with melody – “Pop music has always been at the core of what we do” says Matt. Busted for noise pollution in their shared house, the band once had every single piece of electrical equipment confiscated by the police. They throw the best parties. They are sonic explorers of ephemeral weirdness. In 2010 Demob Happy relocated to Brighton, where, they admit, the more bohemian lifestyle has brought less abuse on the street and created something else to kick against: apathy, complacency, an easy life beside the seaside. “Brighton has been good to us,” says Matt. “We suckled at its bosom. We've tried hard to make something happen there and this new grunge scene has blown up around while we we’re finding our feet.”

Their debut album Dream Soda (released through SO Recordings in 2015) is a collection of contrasts: tough and tender, melodic and malevolent. Sweet and sour. It is also, by turns, groinal, narcotic, nervy, festering, ferocious, hirsute, thrusting, laconic, lascivious and turbo-charged. It is a concept album without contrivance, one in which we’re treated to sci-fi- inspired sounds and dystopian messages disguised beneath sexy, shiny hooks and a silver lining. Here are sounds reminiscent of Josh Homme’s Desert Sessions had he traded Grade A weed for cheap hash and held them in window-smashing house parties on suburban English streets, Tame Impala at their heaviest or perhaps Kurt Cobain at his sneering, sardonic best. They offer prog rock complexity, but none of the excess. Demob Happy stick a tongue in your ear and a hand down your pants. Primarily they are here to make you dance.

With its release came a barrage of noise. Sold-out headline shows across the UK and Europe, Reading & Leeds, The Great Escape Festival and SXSW, topped only by revered basements gigs in their own coffee shop-come- studio HQ, the Nowhere Man Café in Brighton. 

With a new album produced by Tom Dalgety (Royal Blood / The Pixies) in the works, and singles ready to drop across 2017, (First Single ‘Dead Dreamers’ comes on Atlantic USA’s Taste And Tone’ Imprint) while dwindling job opportunities, banal celebrity status, consumerist culture, and the drip-down demonization of the young create a wasteland of musical detritus, never has the world been in more dire need of some direction and a band to navigate the bad times. All the more to plug in and play like your lives depend upon it, then.

They have created their own deranged world. It’s one step removed from reality, but Demob Happy are the soundtrack.