Nottingham noise rock trio Vertical Noise are on a mission to resurrect unpredictability as they remove the mundane and predictable aspects of modern pop music.
The trio of Jay Moreton (guitar and vocals), Dan Titterton (bass) and Sarah Kerry (drums) formed when Jay, who had been recording his own music for years, moved to Nottingham and decided to get a band together.
They’ve since released three records in the last two years, of which the most recent It’s Not What You Think, was released last month. Jay told us to expect: “Unpredictability. That is one thing we’ve felt is sorely missing from modern pop and rock music: the possibility that anything could happen at any time. From this idea, every track differs from the previous one drastically, which is how we settled on a name.
“When compared to the previous release It Will Always Burn, the production and sound has vastly improved. It was completed at The Old Library in Mansfield, whereas the prior EP was recorded at my crappy little home studio. The music itself includes more rhythmic and dynamic changes, further added effects with the usual lyrical tongue-in-cheek dialogue for all things.”
It starts off with a very short burst of ‘club music’ in the opening track Club Music, then gives way to driving guitars and drums then the line “I don’t like club music, I think it’s a waste of my time” over fuzz-laden guitars. Funky stabby guitars change things up and l continue over the line “A change of the tempo at the beat, Is something fresh for all to see,” then a faster little guitar riff follows and leads into a final rocky chorus.
Nice Stuff opens up with a cool fast-paced riff then a funky little bassline flows through the opening verse that includes a cry of “You’re batshit crazy with your Howard Hughes dressing gown.” A chorus of the repeated line “This is why we can’t have nice stuff when it’s all a laugh” gives way to stabby guitars then the pace drops right down with a lingering bassline and builds up to more repeats of the chorus line.
There’s an abrupt switch-up in the wild intro to Carbon Copy, with high-pitched guitar noises then a shouty opening verse supported by chugging guitar chords. A lively chorus follows, then drops into a chilled section that explodes into mad guitar noise and another shouty verse.
That’s followed by the brilliantly titled Twatellite Navigation, which sees the pace drop down again with a laid-back intro then the opening line “I don’t know which way is up, I don’t know how to get down.” A long pause gives way to a driving fuzzy guitar riff under “I think I’ve figured it out, Have you figured it out?, I think I’ve figured it out, What it’s all about, Do you want, yeah, do what pleases you, Do what you want, ignore the skeptics.”
Next is the excellent Countless Video Interruptions, which opens up with a building guitar riff, big smashes of cymbal, then a cool little high-pitched blast feeds into a fast-paced verse. A cry of “Countless video interruptions” gives way to a fuzzy guitar riff, more drawn out guitars then a short spoken section that leads into wild guitar noise.
The EP closes out with title track It’s Not What You Think, which opens up with a fast burst of guitar noise then drops into a laid-back, dreamy instrumental background against chilled out vocals.
The band certainly brings unpredictability, in a fun style that they describe to us as The Cardiacs meets Nirvana, with elements of Aqua, Sonic Youth, Beastie Boys and Chaz and Dave. Eclectic much.
And it seems virtually anything can form the basis of a Vertical Noise track, as Jay explains: “Generally creativity itself influences me, the fun behind finding a hook that is so catchy that it’s still in your head at 3am. That and hummus. Song topics can range from things such as: Jeremy Kyle, Vladimir Putin, TV adverts, Club Music, computer gaming and such. Mainly cultural aspects that either irritate me or I find hilarious.”
And the good, if you’re that way inclined, news is that things could get even weirder. As Jay says: “We’ve only just started to look into newer tracks for future recordings, which at the moment seem to contain further strange structures.”
You can see Vertical Noise live with several gigs coming up over the next few months, including Thursday Night Live in Hull next Thursday (23 August), then The Maze in Nottingham the following Thursday (30 August) and again on 25 September, followed by a gig at Curve Bar in Leeds on 6 October. More info on all their upcoming gigs is here.