With 2019 drawing to a close it’s time for one final New Band of the Week. And we’ve got a very exciting final band to round the year out that we think are one to keep an eye on in the New Year in Fast Blood.
The Newcastle-based punk rock quartet of Abi Barlow (vocals), David Hillier (guitar), Kris Brunsden (bass and vocals) and Scott Jeffery (drums) have honed a sound they describe as “fast, urgent and melodic.”
The band was borne out of Dave’s former band Pure Graft, from which one of the members Chris produced the band’s debut single, then the recruitment of drummer Scott from local band ILSER.
As Dave tells us: “After a little while it fell apart when Scott moved to Manchester. After a couple of years (and several more members coming and going) Scott came back to the Toon and we started jamming again. Once we had some ideas down, we brought in friends Kris (bass) and Abi (vocals) in November 2018 and everything clicked pretty much immediately!
“We’ve all been playing music in various guises since we were teenagers, it’s become a huge part of all our lives – to the extent (I’m sure we’d all agree) that we feel incomplete if we aren’t playing music.”
The band released their debut track You in November, which kicks off with cool lively guitars in a brief intro that drops into an edgy opening verse led by Abi’s engaging vocals. That feeds into repeats of “You, yeah you, I’ll go anywhere with you.”
It flows straight into a second verse supported by repeating bursts of guitar and lively drums supporting Abi’s vocals then an extended version of the singalong chorus. The pace then drops down with a low repeating bassline, before kicking into a life with a cool little guitar solo that continues into a modified version of the chorus to bring this lively little track to an end. Give it a listen below:
On the single, Dave told us: “We recorded it in May, but it feels like absolutely ages ago. It was produced by our friend Chris McManus at Blank Studios in Newcastle. We had an amazing experience there.
“In terms of bands we sound like, definitely a Pretty Girls Make Graves / Hot Snakes vibe going on, but Abi’s soaring vocals help create a fresh dimension. You can expect a modern punk rock sound that’s thick and punchy.”
The track was written by Abi, who told us: “In terms of inspiration for lyrics I listen to what the band have come up with and take my time to get a feel for it. Then I work out a melody to go over it and lastly think about lyrics. Most of the time I find it easiest to start by writing stuff down that has pissed me off, kinda like free therapy. So, a lot is taken from past experiences, people who’ve shit on me – that sort of thing. As well as the current state of Britain/politics.
“You is pretty much the only feel-good song I’ve ever written! It’s about the people who you can’t be without, the ones that are there for you no matter what. Because it’s important to acknowledge those people.”
The band’s sound has been honed on a long list of bands that are similar to what they’re trying to achieve, from Nirvana, Sunday Real Estate and Rise Against to Fleetwood Mac, Fucked Up, Drug Church and much, much more.
And on the band’s sound generally, Dave adds: “Our sound comprises of fast-paced, energetic punk rock with nods to 90’s mid-western indie/emo, hardcore and garage punk. Abi’s vocals are uplifting and full of hooks; as she belts out honest, authentic, self-examining lyrics in her North East accent.”
There’s much more to come from Fast Blood in 2020, including a second single early next year followed by a full EP and they’re already working on further material. So this is a band well worth keeping an eye on in the New Year. As Dave adds: “We are ready and available for gigs, weddings, Bar Mitzvah’s and funerals. Book us and we will come. Hope you guys enjoy the single!”