There’s something weirdly engaging about the admittedly odd sound of Brighton / London rockers Scab Hand. The band’s self-description of their fast-paced brand of dirty psych punk as “The Pixies played too fast” and the fact that all their songs on their debut EP begin with the letter H helps you get the gist of it.
The trio of Kevin Lennon (guitar and vocals), Rob Ling (drums) and Dan Stirrat (bass) release that debut EP in November, on which Rob – a former member of The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster – told us: “We’re more excited than you can ever imagine! This has been a long time coming and feels amazing to finally release something that’s been brewing away in the background for quite some time. Hmmm, expect a feral collection of songs that will crawl up to your eardrums at a rate of knots, have a good scratch and creep away before you realised they started and will supply you with just the right amount of punk to rock.”
Scab Hand formed when Kevin and Rob’s previous bands split up. In Rob’s words: “We spoke unknowingly through Gumtree, not knowing that we had previously shared the same label; Fluffer Records. Anyway, at that point Kev had also found the local legend Dan Stirrat, who plays bass in the doom-psyche beast Guising and so by the time we had our first rehearsal it felt like we had been playing for years. It’s been an amazingly easy band to be in! At this point in our lives it’s more like Stockholm Syndrome, we can’t really get out of being in a band even if we wanted to.”
The band define their music as “stupid, gritty and rabid,” with Rob adding: “We just like to keep it weird! If anyone can hear our lyrics then we’re not playing loud enough to be honest.“
He also tells us their influences pull them in all manner of directions. His drumming in inspired by Joey Castillo (Queens of the Stone Age) and Meg White (The White Stripes), while Dan brings the psych with his influence from classic rock bass tones and electronic freak outs, and Kevin’s guitar style sits somewhere between Kid Congo and Wire whilst “singing like a rabid dog” (direct quote!).
The first insight we’ve had into the EP is the wild Howl, which literally begins with Kevin howling. An opening verse of barely audible vocals with big bassy and gritty guitar support is followed by more howling then a big rocky rolling riff, and more howls. As alluded to earlier, it’s strangely appealing.
They’ve also released a video for another track from the EP, the wild, punky Hypnotise. You can check it out in the video below:
The band’s debut EP is out next month, but they’re already busy recording and mixing their debut album. Rob tells us: “Without giving too much away we may have recorded a secret cover of our favourite animated TV horse theme.” Intriguing.
They have launch events for the EP at The Pipeline in Brighton on 3 November, then at The Brewhouse in London on 8 November. More info on their gigs is here.