South London-based Crushed Beaks have honed a really cool sound that fuses indie rock with elements of psych, post-punk and garage rock – so expect plenty of catchy vocals and funky noodling guitar riffs.
The trio of Matt Poile, Scott Bowley and Tim Watkins are on the verge of releasing their second album, The Other Room, next month. And they sent us over the opening track Sky Burial to whet our beaks for the new record.
It opens with reverby guitar noise, then a twisting little guitar lick that continues under driving drums and bass. Matt’s soaring vocals enter in a lively opening verse, which drops into light guitar then a more laid-back second verse supported by a flickering guitar riff.
Psychy guitars then kick back in as the pace picks up again with Matt’s big singalong vocals. The flickering guitar riff returns as the track draws to a chilled ending. It sounds super cool and this, combined with other releases Right Machine and Honesty Box, gives us plenty to get excited about with the new album. You can give it a listen below:
We had a chat with Matt to find out a bit more about the band and their music, read on below…
GR: Who are Crushed Beaks? And where are you from? What’s the backstory, how did you get together?
MP: “We are a three-piece psych/garage/indie rock band based mostly in south London. Tim plays the drums, Scott plays bass, and Matt plays guitar and sings. We share synth noodling duties in the studio.
“Up until we released our first album, Scatter, we were a two-piece. After that, Scott joined and Tim replaced the old drummer. We auditioned loads of people but as soon as we found Tim we knew he was a keeper! Our new album, The Other Room, was recorded in a huge converted church in Leeds by producer Matt Peel, who helped us take the sounds to another level.”
GR: You just released Sky Burial. What should people be expecting from the song?
MP: “Sky Burial is the opener from The Other Room and it’s one of our favourites to play live. It felt like quite an obvious opener to us. It’s really energetic, with this driving motorik beat and looping riff, and the lyrics are about accepting change and giving yourself up to it. It sets the scene and hopefully draws people in to listen to the rest of the album.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
MP: “Psych-y, shoegaze-y, garage-y, indie rock, but in our very own special blend of intense drumming, distortion pedals and slight awkwardness.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
MP: “I just love the process of writing and recording music. It’s the freedom of being able to create whatever sounds you want, from having an idea and running with it and following through on it until it sounds finished. Once the ball gets rolling it can feel like it’s coming out of nowhere, like it already existed and you’re just documenting it.
GR: “Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?”
MP: “For this album, it was a lot of krautrock, 70s post-punk and 90s shoegaze. It’s got a darker feel than the first album, which I think comes from some time spent playing in a doom-y post-rock band during the time the songs were written.”
GR: What have you got coming up through the rest of 2019?
MP: “The Other Room is out on 9 August and we will be announcing tour dates very soon. Our label, Clue, outdid themselves with some beautiful splatter vinyl so get your pre-order in. Can’t wait for people to hear the whole album!”