The thrilling sound of London-based duo CRASHFACE offers a dose of “electric rage” from a band and for a world that “are mad as fuck.” CRASHFACE slap you round the face with their vicious riffs then deliver a couple of knockout punches with intensely infectious industrial elements and wild vocals.
The duo of Charlie, who originally comes from Penarth in South Wales, and London boy Otto met while at university. They started a hardcore punk band for a couple of years before starting the CRASHFACE project just before the pandemic started.
As Charlie tells us: “When that was over we went off to do our own stuff for about a year. That’s when I came up with the idea for CRASHFACE. I got back in touch with Otto because I had this obnoxious-anti-pop-popstar project I had some songs for, but I suck at production and Otto’s like a wizard. So I took the tracks to him just so he could help out, but then after writing together it became pretty apparent it worked. ENTER CRASHFACE.”
Otto adds: “As Charlie mentioned, we met at uni and did a band for a couple of years. I have some very very fond memories of that time, touring in my mum’s beaten up Toyota Prius. Economic on petrol. It was punk AF. When we finally ended up moving in together before the pandemic, that’s when we really stepped things up and CRASHFACE has had the opportunity to become what it is now. Having that much time to live and breathe a project was an incredible gift.”
The duo have since honed a huge sound that Charlie summarizes as “loud sexy future.” He adds: “If I had to put it into words, it’s like industrial-pop mixed with punk rock and a hint of EDM. It’s based around the typical rock set-up sure, but we have so much fun with extra-production and beats and synths and layers and layers and LAYERS of crazy vocal shit. I really feel it is unique, and could only urge someone to go check it out for themselves.”
And Otto adds: “Prior to this project we wrote pretty much exclusively as four people in a room and fleshed the songs out together. With CRASH, the writing process has been an awesome way to just throw as much as we can think of at the tracks and not have to worry about it fitting into a certain genre etc… If we want a choir of Charlie singing different notes that we then put through a whole chain of crazy shit, we’re gonna do it. It’s not your typical formulaic music. It’s such a creative outlet in so many aspects, you really need to hear it to understand what I mean!”
Our latest taste of this is the duo’s second EP HEAVY INFECTIOUS, which was released on Friday and is absolutely brilliant. The EP instantly hooks you in with the vicious ultraplasticplanetkiller, which opens up with industrial beats and wild screams that drop into a heavy driving riff and drums supporting fast-paced vocals.
Big cries of “We won’t get out of here alive” burst into another breathless verse that begins “Bring it back motherfucker, Oh it sure is a lively day, But your system’s at it again so fuck the pain away.” More repeats of “We won’t get out of here alive” intensify into big screams over the heavy driving guitars to bring the track to a close.
That’s follow by Molotov Smile, which opens with a repeating riff and edgy vocals that explode into heavy drums and a driving riff under Charlie’s engaging vocals. A heavy chorus of “Chemical ease me, make me happy, ‘Cause we are all so blind, Chemical ease me, make me happy, Get out from in between the lines” drops into little electrical sounds before the chorus quickly returns. Check it out in the video below:
Next is the excellent Loading Screen Infinity, which starts with light guitars and echoey vocals that intensify and are joined by a riff that explodes into heavy guitars and drums. They suddenly drop out to leave light vocals and drums, then increase in intensity and flow into a big atmospheric chorus.
The pace suddenly drops again after the chorus, with light electronic noises and drawn-out vocal sounds. But it soon winds up as a little riff explodes into huge guitars and intense cries of “This true story, Kind of boring, Toxic and psychotic please, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry, Just let me be.” A big riff and huge pounding drums take over and set up a final chorus to bring this superb track to a close. Check it out in the simulation video below:
There’s no letting up as the more industrial COLD dives straight into a heavy riff that feeds into an edgy opening verse. That feeds into an intense burst of vicious vocals “I’m low but I’m fighting on a tightrope, Lasting impressions that are gonna make me choke, I’m low and I’m overdosing on control, Wait ’til you hit the ground, I’m fucking over it now.” Sections of heavy industrial beats and more laid back interludes build up to a heavy outro.
The EP closes out with the intriguingly entitled You’re The Worst Thing That’s Ever Happened To Me, Ever, which opens with a low riff and rolling drums, which fly into a burst of guitars then engaging vocals that begin “I fell in love with a vending machine and it’s a motherfucking tragedy, Too many Tommy guns at the bar, Getting jaded on their coca-co-la-la-la.”
Another lively verse leads up to a big catchy chorus “It doesn’t geet much better than screaming I surrender, Hands round my neck and leave me broken, Sit down with friendly fumes and count the minutes, Are you in this? ‘Cause I can’t feel it, No I can’t feel at all.” That intensifies further with layered vocals and heavy guitars that feed straight into another intense chorus.
The pace eventually drops with light guitars and drums and atmospheric vocals, which gradually intensify and drop into a huge final blast of the chorus. It’s an excellent conclusion that offers a fitting ending to a fantastic EP.
On the EP, Otto told us: “It’s been so strange to hear it completely finished, front to back, cover to cover, with so much time left before it was being released. These are the strongest and most interesting tracks we’ve ever written and we wanted to almost throw the rule book out the window on what should be on it. It’s a journey. It’s a ride. Expect to not know where it goes next. I can’t wait to gauge people’s reactions to the tracks in the flesh. I think that’s where they’ll truly come to life in my mind.”
And Charlie adds: “We’re so proud and have sat on these tracks for what feels like forever, and really happy in the fact people don’t really know what to expect. Since day one we’ve wanted to make sure that we can’t be put in a box. CRASHFACE isn’t one style or genre or whatever. It’s forever changing and growing. Expect electric rage. Because right now we, and the world, are mad as fuck.”
And, for even more of a taste of what Crashface have to offer, check out their superb previous single Starstruck:
The duo cite two bands as their core musical influences. Charlie tells us: “For me, it’s My Chemical Romance. It’s such a typical answer, I know, but it’s true man. They were the first band I was obsessed with, when I was like 8, and it’s just the theatrics that get me. Not only in the live show but the dynamics of tracks, the call and response style guitars and that fusion of punk and metal. Man, it’s just the best. And the RANGE. The ability to go from shreddy revenge fuelled emo to Japanese pop dance party is amazing. I could go on all day, really, but I’ll cap it there.”
And for Otto, in addition to new music by Cleopatrick, Citizen and Royal Blood, says: “Placebo. Best band ever. Change my mind. It took me a while to get into them but damn! They’re killer. The songwriting is just so experimental and often not what you expect at all. I love that. When a track surprises you, you know?”
And when it comes to what influences them to write music, Charlie explains: “Our music is very observational. Sometimes I’ll write from personal experiences, but most of the time it’s about the people around me, the state of the world, and the emotions we feel. For example, two tracks on the EP are basically about how fucked up the world is right now, and the other three are about emotions and internal battles.
“As well as trying to make songs as dramatic as I can, I do just really enjoy writing. Like there are probably at least 100 track ideas on my hard drive right now, most of which won’t ever leave, but that’s just what happens when you love something. You do it a lot, and not all of it is great.”
To which, Otto adds: “So there was a weird period in my life where I couldn’t bring myself to write. Or when I did, I’d delete it because it immediately didn’t sound like a finished track, and therefore was not a good idea. I’m working on it, but my production brain is a tough ol’ voice to have looming over your shoulder sometimes. That pressure you put on yourself to explore something you truly love inspires me to work and to write for sure. Fear of failure. So many self doubts that you just need to drown out with riffs.”
CRASHFACE’s second EP HEAVY INFECTIOUS is out now so go give it a listen! You can also see the duo’s first shows as CRASHFACE as they open the main stage on the first day of Burn It Down Festival in September, play Wild Paths Festival in October, before a headline UK tour in November. There will also be new music down the line, so stay tuned for more from this exciting new band very soon.
As Charlie explains: “It’s hard as fuck, but it’s all about inclusivity and having fun. These mosh pits will be like no other and full of fucking smiles. Drink plenty of water and grab a ticket to our tour.”
And Otto adds: “If you bring your Corgi to the show, we will provide cute ear muffs and a free ticket. Stream Loading Screen Infinity. Matt Hancock IS hopeless. Come and say hi. We can’t wait to meet you all!”