For those about to prog, we salute you! Well, not really, but it’s a cool idea isn’t it? Artist and master-of-qall-musical-trades Tony Arnold has decided to welcome and entice potential and veteran progressive rock fans with a comprehensive new sampler released on his own label Gray Mortuary. Originally starting the label as a vehicle to circumvent the tyranny of the major label system and enable him to release his myriad of music projects on his own terms and his own timetable, one of the first releases on Gray Mortuary was music from Arnold’s duo project Menage ‘A Twang.
Upon the dissolution of that project, the label has been used as a vehicle to release music from Arnold’s many other musical endeavors (he has released almost a dozen albums in the past few years alone) such as Macular Degenerates, The Pachinko Allahs, and Musaphonic. The name of the label originates from a song on Arnold’s first solo collection, Ophidian Lullabies, which became a sort of blueprint for his later projects of which this is Arnold’s most recent. Arnold’s Gray Mortuary work is distinguished from most of his other projects by the copious use of electronic soundscapes to anchor the compositions and Arnold’s projects are essentially solo efforts, as is this effort, which means every sound is played by Arnold. Quite awe inspiring, to be honest, as the textures and arrangements used are often quite inventive. While the album is definitely a sampler, there seems to be a thread running through Arnold’s work making each of these songs sound like they have come from the same project, which is also quite uncanny.
Nottingham’s Nephu Huzzband delivers a raw punk-rock debut album that is charismatic to the core. Eighteen months in the making, Elementary was finally released at the start of October and the band’s hard work seems to be paying off. NME has described the four-piece as “gawky depressed underdogs [that] are painfully brilliant,” and I assure you that is a compliment. There in fact is something painfully brilliant about their sound and this truly makes them a band to be on to lookout for. Their EP, Papers, was released last year and received national support in the U.K. with endless airplay, and built expectations for their debut album. With Elementary, Nephu Huzzband has not disappointed.
When it came time to dig deep and discover what makes Nephu Huzzband tick, Guitarist Adam Popple and Bassist Jamie Barrow decided to take on the challenge. Vocalist Tom Bentley and Drummer Rob Challinor had no objections.
1. How did Nephu Huzzband come about?
A: Adam: We all met at school and were all listening to similar bands. Everyone wanted to be in a band so we did the obvious thing and decided to start Nephu Huzzband.
2. When you’re writing music – what’s the process?
A: Adam: We all come up with ideas on our own, which is what I really like about our writing process. When we do this it allows every band member to add their own sound and own influence to a song. When actually bringing a song together, we do it in the practice room […] basically bringing together our ideas into one.