The Lounge Society – ‘Silk For The Starving’ review: refreshingly rural take on politically-loaded post-punk

The Lounge Society are blazing their own path in a busy British guitar scene by looking closer to home – the results are as raucous as they are rewarding

Growing up in the countryside can be isolating at the best of times. While many musicians can share frustrations of being trapped through the pandemic, these feelings were already familiar for The Lounge Society. Growing up in West Yorkshire’s rural and remote Calder Valley, the teens have embraced space and time. Much like their Northern neighbours Working Men’s Club, who hail from the neighbouring Todmorden, they’ve sought to escape their hum-drum surroundings by way of immediate anthems with a menacing snarl.

A tranquil upbringing hasn’t held them back from tackling world-weary subjects though, bubbling with youthful angst, 2020’s textured five-minute debut single ‘Generation Game’ took aim at those in power with seething delivery: “There’s a generation staring down the barrel of a gun / But you won’t ever find them on the cover of The Sun.” With more than a few points to prove, it became the fastest-selling 7” single through tastemaking label Speedy Wunderground [Squid, Black Country, New Road] – no wonder the label snapped them up for their debut EP.

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On ‘Silk For The Starving’, they weave their own perspective into the wider political dialogue, most grippingly on groove-heavy opener ‘Burn The Heather’, where the track centres around a local Grouse hunting ritual of burning the moor top heather, and the environmental fallout. With dead-pan lyrical delivery offset by jangly guitars and clicking cowbell, it’s an invigorating and unique take on class war that says they’re anything but another British guitar band shaking fists at the government; Lounge Society stand their ground firmly and loudly make their demands.

The scrappy squall of ‘Valley Bottom Fever’, too, has a unique viewpoint. Nodding to the nearby town of Hebden Bridge where the band cut their teeth in local venue The Trades Club, Cameron Davey vents lines of claustrophobia: “a lonely town with a lonely state of mind” or less favourably “a drug town with a tourist problem.” Replete with a crashing and frantic rhythmic section of an early Libertines track, it makes for quite the cocktail of youthful turmoil.

They’ve clearly had time on their hands to learn from the greats – perhaps most notably Hebden Bridge’s newest resident, The Strokes producer Gordon Raphael who has championed the band since meeting them at a Working Men’s Club show. They even pay tribute to the NYC indie heroes in the video for the pulsing prog-tinged anthem ‘Cain’s Heresy’. Elsewhere ‘Television’ nods to the genre-defining post-punk forefathers of the same name with signature incisive guitars.

In a swamped climate of post-punk where many are left searching desperately to find new ground, The Lounge Society are assuredly blazing their own path by channeling their fertile Yorkshire surroundings. This is an arrival that shows a band adding to the genre on their own terms, sealing them as one of the most refreshing voices in the game right now.

Details

  • Release date: June 18
  • Record Label: Speedy Wunderground
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