Share New Video For “Don’t Ask Many Questions”
Watch the Manchester band’s brand new video
Single “Don’t Ask Many Questions”, which was premiered by Clash Magazine who called it “an off piste guitar pop gem”, is accompanied by a colourful, surreal and mischevious animation.
The track is taken from new release Stranger, out this Friday 24th February 2017 via CF Records.
Since coalescing around singer Nick Ainsworth in 2003, Former Bullies have been a regular presence in Greater Manchester’s pop underground, becoming spiritual godfathers to more recently emerged gems such as Kiran Leonard, Irma Vep, and Pins. Though prolific performers, the pace of their recorded output has been somewhat slower, with new release Stranger being just their fourth long-player in all that time.
Following the end of a decade-long relationship, Ainsworth took time to reflect and pour the experience into a set of heartbroken songs. Everything is here on the surface, open and honest, and totally at ease with all that means. But, shot through even the most lonesome of tunes is a golden ray of endearing optimism.
The band have a history of keeping things simple, with sparse arrangements of instantaneous pop tunes that spring immediately into life and scurry off over the horizon before you know what’s hit you. This approach is continued for the most part on Stranger, with only small dabblings in (home) studio augmentation – a healthy dose of grainy tape echo is complemented by drummer Tom Settle sparingly adding lush guitar chords to enrich plaintive verses with washes of colour.
Though none of the songs on the record even dream of getting anywhere near the 3-minute mark, with a distinct lack of middle 8s and guitar solos thin on the ground, it often feels like Ainsworth’s voice isn’t going to make it to the end, his toil almost in stark opposition to the slack, easy jangle of the instrumentation. The resultant tension gives Stranger a vibrant, pop immediacy, with a cracked but beating heart at the centre, that harks back to the likes of Skip Spence, Michael Yonkers, Jonathan Richman, and early R.E.M. whilst also bringing to mind contemporaries such as Ultimate Painting, Woods, and White Fence.
Former Bullies are Nick Ainsworth (guitar, vocals), Matthew Taylor (bass guitar), and Tom Settle (drums, guitar, vocals). Since 2003, as well as releasing three long-players, they have played with Daniel Johnston, Nine Black Alps, Cass McCombs, Giant Sand, Jeffrey Lewis, The Pastels, Calvin Johnson, and have toured Europe with The Lemonheads.
“The band still have the ability to make you ache after all this time” The Line of Best Fit
“Their tracks hardly exceed the three minute mark, all have a slight bittersweet twinge and a rough and ready production/playing style which is quite endearing to the listener…this is a really good record with tonnes of slacker charm.” Norman Records
“Golden Chains album was one of my favourite of last year – inhabiting a territory between lo-fi acoustic pop and dreamy 60s psychedelia, and with not a weak song on the whole record.” Song, By Toad
“Simple, wonderful lo-fi pop music.” The 405