Kent four-piece The Word are taking us on a trip back to the 1960s and 70s, adding a modern twist to the classic rock sound that they’ve coined as ‘Tea Rock’ – or Britpop fused with Rock’n’Roll.
The quartet of Stig (vocals and guitar), Ben (bass and vocals), Liam (drums and vocals) and Christian (guitar and vocals) met through a website called JoinMyBand and bonded through their shared love of old school music of the 50s/60s/70s. As Liam says: “I think at a young age we all just thought it looked cool or fun to be in a band and once you’ve tried it, unless your ego is too big, you don’t wanna go back to being on your own.”
In search of the ‘old-school sound’ of their idols from the 1960s and 70s, the band headed to Ranscombe Studios in Rochester, which is famed locally for its analogue equipment and back-to-basics approach to recording. The resulting debut EP Fish In The Sea was laid down live in a single room, with the band playing all at once – and all without a computer in sight. The result sees a group of songs that capture a snapshot of the energy of their live performances, and a nod to the classic way of making music.
Released in August, the EP opens up with Brother, Brother, which features verses filled with delicious guitar licks and a big singalong chorus “So brother don’t forget your brother, ‘Cos one day I’ll be where you are, Now don’t go wishing you were younger, ‘Cos you’ll be dead and gone before too long. A second chorus gives way to a funky guitar solo that you can’t help but bob your head along to.
Title track Fish In The Sea opens up with a cool little bassline then drawn-out vocals “Well I’m floating down the stream, Like a little fish, A fish in the sea.” Cool, jaunty guitars support fun singalong vocals with licks thrown in here and there, then a big cry of “So now I’m slowly going deeper, When I thought the girl I had was a keeper, But everyone keeps telling me, That there’s plenty more fish in the sea.” Check it out in the video below:
Next up is the brilliantly named Limonella Citronella, which is a little more laid-back but packed with plenty of funkiness, especially little ditties of “Limonella, li-li-limonella, citronella ci-ci-ci.”
The feel-good funky rock keeps on coming, and finishes up with again brilliantly bamed The Hillbilly Song. You can’t help but jig along to the jaunty intro and repeated “nah-nah-nah” vocals, then more fun singalong vocals, a big guitar solo then a cheeky harmonica solo. It’s a perfect way to close out a highly enjoyable EP.
On the EP, Liam told us: “So far the reaction has been great! As it’s our first EP release, we’re excited and humbled every time someone buys a copy or says they’ve enjoyed the songs. To anyone who hasn’t listened yet expect guitar licks and big choruses with an injection of humour.
“We can’t escape the fact that The Beatles have always had the biggest influence over the band. We even stole our name from one of their tunes. A couple of people have compared us to Blondie, which is a bit weird and funny. We’ve got no real connection with their music.”
And when it comes to what inspires them to write music, Liam adds: “There’s always gonna be the unavoidable subject of love and heartache but writing music is, or should be, very personal and about what the writer themselves experiences. If you can make your shitty customer experience that time at Tesco relatable in a four-minute-long story then you’ve done your job well.”
The band also spend time spreading their word on the streets, but don’t get the wrong impression. As Liam tells us: “We keep getting the question when we’re busking, is The Word something to do with religion… But nope we’re not a Christian church act. Sorry.”
You can see The Word in action with two gigs next month, at The Eagle Tavern in Rochester on 15 November then Poco Loco in Medway on 30 November. More info on those is here.