Benefits take on “this money-obsessed, migrant-despising, perpetually drunk country” on ‘Empire’

Check out the unforgiving new single from the Teesside noise punks

Benefits have shared the typically stark new video for new single ‘Empire’. See it first on NME below.

The latest track from the rising Pixies and Sleaford Mods-approved Teesside noise punks sees frontman Kingsley Hall – formerly of The Chapman Family – launch another dissonant tirade about the dark side of life in Britain or, in his words, “an island of poppies and crosses, Union Jack carrots, flagpoles in the sand, rewritten history, industrial wastelands; the pub’s back open so no one cares“.

It comes accompanied by a video filmed along The Black Path in Middlesbrough by Steven Bardgett of Teesside band Mouses.


“‘Empire’ is about the constant conflict of bullshit that is gripping the country,” Hall told NME. “Everything is an argument, everywhere you look there’s anger and frustration. It’s never-ending. You’re pissed off with your mate as he doesn’t always share your political beliefs, but he’s still your mate; you’re sick of the constant noise, the constant shouting, the endless vitriol. But you join in, you shout as loud as you can as you feel you’ve got nothing left. Yet you’ll never get heard, your efforts seemingly fruitless.”

He continued: “This money-obsessed, migrant-despising, perpetually drunk country. Forever blaming everyone else for its own calamities. All splattered against a backdrop of the idea of Empire, a rose tinted hallucination of a past that didn’t exist, whose history is constantly being rewritten in order to not seem like the rotten cruel shit it had a tendency to be.”

Speaking to NME earlier this summer, Hall explained the band’s immediate and under-produced approach to their sound.

“Everything’s got to be instant: news, fashion, music, culture, everything,” he said. “There’s a ticking clock and a fear, plus maybe it’s a death thing. My cousin died last year, far, far too soon. Maybe it’s about getting everything out before I expire.”


‘Empire’ by Benefits is out now. 

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