Bristol's Scalping return today with much-anticipated new material in the shape of the propulsive, muscular "Deadlock" and the news that they have signed to us here at Houndstooth.
Deadlock marks their first release for us and one that will be followed by further original material to land in 2021.
"Deadlock has been in our live set for over a year now and it's always a highlight; it's fierce, relentless and gets a great reaction whenever we play it."
"The first versions of this song were based around a one bar synth loop that ran for the duration, it gave us a lot of space to improvise and play with the dynamics and structure live, to push and pull off both each other and the crowd. The energy coming back off the audience always has a huge impact on how we perform but it was particularly noticeable with this song, it would feel very different every night as we'd each be trying out different things."
"With us not being able to play it live for the foreseeable it felt like the perfect time to record a definitive version of the song. After coming off tour we finalised and recorded this version of Deadlock at the start of the year, before lockdown, split between our homes in Bristol and Rockfield Studios in Wales."
"Deadlock" is paired to a futuristic video from Jason Baker, who is a long-term collaborator on their live visuals and an active "fifth member" of the band. The four-piece perform live in front of a giant screen, projecting imagery onto the wall behind them that veers from the visceral to the provocative, further cementing the Scalping performance as something you absolutely need to see. The director says of the influence behind the latest video:
"The video came from brainstorming sessions with the band. Ideas slowly morphed into this idea ofa church service for some weird future tech religion where nirvana is replaced with oblivion and forced onto people through VR screens. Religion done right, basically."
Scalping initially formed at the end of 2017 with a desire to pair their hometown's visionary, off-kilter dance music to the more organic instrumentation you might find in noise-rock and post-punk. They have since won all manner of plaudits at radio, press and through fervent word-of-mouth for both their eclecticism on record and for the pummeling intensity of their live performances. Included in the top 5 best performances at Eurosonic, and following a memorable session at Maida Vale for Huw Stephens on Radio 1, 2020's pandemic saw the band's precious live plans derailed, including an upcoming tour with Squarepusher, an early supporter of the group, but in turn secured further opportunities for the group to hone in on new studio material.
Working alongside the mercurial Sean Oakley (Kanye West, Show Me The Body, Georgia) they bonded over a like-minded approach that allowed for any and all influences to be considered. Oakley proved himself as the perfect foil for the band's disparate sounds and influences, and helped them realise the band's sonic potential on a series of blistering songs that will see the light of day in the coming months.
"Deadlock" is suitably named in a year where everyone's plans have been sent up in the air, and acts as a timely reminder of one of the most invigorating, original new acts Britain has birthed in years.
As the opener to what will be a flurry of activity, any deadlock up to now ends right here.
James Rushforth - Alex Hill - Isaac Jones - Jamie Thomas - Jason Baker
"As far as introductions go, this is pretty remarkable." - Mixmag
"An EBM band inspired by Bristol sound-systems... the city's next breakthrough act" - Loud & Quiet
"They've the ability to seamlessly entwine furious guitar mania with frenzied dance music, making them one of few bands to fuse the genres without losing the best bits of either... an irresistible blend of influences, layering disparate noise on top of a post-industrial beat, eventually boiling over into a straight-up colossal dance pump that continues to shift and evolve." - The Quietus
"eye-bleeding techno and cataclysmic noise rock collide under the banner of Scalping. Tinges of HEALTH's earlier, mayhem-ier roots glint through the chaos Scalping offer - but these sounds are not really like anything else about." - The Line Of Best Fit
The Only Music You Need To Hear This Month - DAZED
Tracks Of The Year - The Guardian