commiserations1

When you think of a house band, you tend to think of some sterile, ‘funky’ dad-rock band taking up space in a too-friendly pub, or maybe you just think of The Roots on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. You probably won’t think of a raging no-wave band who regularly tear up a workers’ co-operative bar and multi-purpose venue in Leeds.

Wharf Chambers, as said by their website, aims ‘to provide an inclusive and affordable space for music, art, film, politics and discussion that brings together people from communities across Leeds’, and at their heart is Commiserations. They soundtrack many nights with overblown amps and a barrage of vocals that range from yelping to screaming.

Only a handful of demos and Bandcamp singles are available, but each one hits hard. ‘Something For Nothing’ sounds like a marching song straight out of The Roxy, alternating vocals both unintelligible next to the shrill guitar lead that twists across the fretboard. ‘Gwangi Come Home’ jumps around a fizzing bass, and it’s remarkable how much noise can come from just three instruments. It descends into cries of ‘we will kill them’ against a ravaging post-hardcore backdrop reminiscent of The Nation of Ulysses.

Pigsmart’ has the same stop-start downtuned guitar stabs straight of The Fall’s songbook, with a ‘chorus’ that has guitarist Esme Newman’s banshee shrieks reach inhuman level. ‘Slow Song’ is far from a ballad, and is only named so because it allows more time for the instruments to clang and smash against each other, before settling for a doomy pace. New single ‘Sugercoated’ is their cleanest song yet, but it’s about as clean as Mclusky clawing at their garage walls if they were in the middle of a gas leak; just like the rest of their songs, it burns.

 

About The Author

Lee Whear

Young punk full of love, hoping they've got enough tobacco left when the revolution comes. Canterbury Christchurch University graduate, previous work has appeared in thnksfrthrvrw, Hitsville U.K., Bearded Magazine, and God Is In The TV Zine.