New EP Almost-Instinct, Almost True – May 5th
Release video for ‘Hands Around The Waste’ watch here
UK Headline Tour in May –
London, The Old Blue Last – May 23 2017
“Come to Hull, City of Culture, where Vulgarians combine Black Grape with Black Flag” – Loud & Quiet
“Brilliantly loud riffs and boastful drums combined with clever, relatable lyrics making light of the mundane” – Clash
“It’s an acerbic number that spits out the band’s discontent” – UPSET
“Lessons in melodic noise-rock” – Louder Than War
“A fuzzy, loud, oddly poetic new offering” – Gigslutz
Hull’s Vulgarians have announced details of their new EP titled Almost-Instinct, Almost True, due out on May 5th 2017. Produced by MJ of Hookworms (Honeyblood, Eagulls, Pulled Apart By Horses), the EP follows their debut release Life’s Successful Death, released in July 2016. The first single from Almost-Instinct, Almost True is titled ‘Hands Around The Waste’, released in line with shows supporting The Wytches throughout the end of February and March (see below for dates), with a string of headline shows from Vulgarians soon to be announced.
Following a chance encounter after a gig at Leeds’ Brudenell Social Club in May 2016, Hookworms’ frontman MJ invited Vulgarians to record their next EP at his Suburban Home studio in Leeds, also offering up his production services. The four-piece were one of the first bands to record at Suburban Home following the flooding on Boxing Day 2015. Speaking about working with MJ, Vulgarians’ frontman Ryan Wilson-Preen says: “We’re all really big fans of his work with Hookworms and he’s also produced many of our favourite records. We knew he could certainly add his experience, but also bring his music knowledge to the table.”
Almost-Instinct, Almost True is a phrase taken from work by Hull poet, Philip Larkin – when discussing the title Wilson-Preen states: “The phrase in particular just flowed quite unnaturally off the tongue and I guess upon reflection, that captures the honesty in the music.” The EP finds the group in their most pulse-quickening but focused form, this time producing a collection songs that are intended to be heard together in succession as opposed to a singles compilation. It is a record that demonstrates a marked progression in sound from their first – Wilson-Preen says: “There is certainly more clarity and quality to the songs we wrote [for their new EP]. I never thought we would write ‘Hands Around The Waste’. We’ve started bringing more ideas to the table – not that there is any differing approach to song writing, but there are more pauses for what’s next.”
There is a heftier emphasis upon the bass and groove within songs across the EP; bassist Jodie Smith and drummer Connor Cheesman find a progressed alliance in the rhythm section that plays into Vulgarians’ newly found sleaze. Whilst shades of the Morphine, Sonic Youth and Jesus and Mary Chain records which soundtracked the writing of Life’s Successful Death still show, Almost-Instinct, Almost True is driven by the same barbed energy propelling the band’s most treasured albums from Rowland S. Howard, PiL and Iggy Pop. Vulgarians’ lyricist Wilson-Preen recognises an affinity for a similar kind of satirical bleakness in his writing: “Escaping death like a colourless visionary, chapters on health page suburban misery.” When speaking of the lyrics, Wilson-Preen states: “I was trying to write the musical version of The Royle Family, picking at life’s mundanities and joking with them.”
Speaking about EP opener ‘Of Humdrum Consumption’ Wilson-Preen says; “ In many ways the song sounds more typical of an earlier Vulgarians’ track in regard to the discordant feedback but shows an indication that we’ve moved forward and can write something more. We’ve finally allowed our Krautrock fascination to be absorbed into a new, vulgar life.” Second track, ‘Career Dietary’ is a desolate, cold song – an atmosphere deliberately tempered by Wilson-Preen’s lyrics: “The song felt so serious and thus I wanted the lyrics to oppose this. I opted to try to examine the worst characteristics of people that seem content in monotony.” The final track ‘Hands Around The Waste’ is the finest example of Vulgarians’ musical and lyrical dynamic. Split down the middle in two contrasting demeanours, the song finds the humour in a taxi drivers’ dark stories, incongruously mixing monumental choruses with sparse verses.
The roots of Vulgarians lie firmly within their home town of Hull – a city whose musical heritage is sometimes unjustly overlooked. Since forming in January 2015 from the remains of various other previous bands, Wilson-Preen, Smith, Cheesman and guitarist, Luke Ellerington have all longed for something ambitious and loud. In the past they have gained fan support from The Wytches, Baby In Vain and Weirds, with Kristian Bell of The Wytches personally inviting Vulgarians to be their tour support in late 2015 and now in early 2017 too. Prior to the release of Life’s Successful Death last year, the group were asked by 6Music’s Steve Lamacq to perform on the BBC Introducing Stage at The Great Escape, a show that preceded their first headline tour through summer. From here the band have gone on to support rising and established acts such as Happy Meal Ltd, TRAAMS, Gang and Weirds.
In 2017, Hull finds itself as the UK’s City of Culture and nothing demonstrates this culture better than its music scene. The communal ethos and friendship shared between promoters and established artists such as LIFE and The Black Delta Movement is something Vulgarians find themselves a part of, and now championing into other stretches of the country. Famed in Hull for hosting their own ‘Nelson Mandela Sessions’, Vulgarians frequently champion fellow rising bands by squeezing lights, projectors and 50+ fans into their own rented digs for live sessions, much to the dismay of the landlord and a pricey electric bill. The DIY ethos of these sessions is as much a testament to Vulgarians’ own ideology as Almost-Instinct, Almost True itself – the band’s most driven release to date, it’s a statement of intent from a band on the brink of an impressive 2017.
1. Of Humdrum Consumption
2. Career Dietary
3. Hands Around The Waste
May 10th – Headrow House, Leeds
May 11th – Soup Kitchen, Manchester
May 12th – Picture House, Sheffield
May 13th – The Priory, Glasgow
May 16th – Full Moon Club, Cardiff
May 18th-20th – The Great Escape, Brighton
May 22nd – Crofter’s Rights, Bristol
May 23rd – Old Blue Last, London
May 26th – The Polar Bear, Hull
May 27th – Rock City Basement, Nottingham