London-based but rather international newcomers Borderline Toxic offer up a riff-based, catchy rock sound that draws on funk influences and they describe as “gritty, ballsy and triggering.”
Borderline Toxic is led by Scotland-born, London-based singer/songwriter Kerry Glass, who was introduced to Norwegian drummer and producer Henrik Fossen by fellow drummer and producer Pete Ray Biggin. The band formed right in the midst of the first UK lockdown back in the Spring of 2020.
As Kerry tells us: “We figured if gigs weren’t happening and we were bored shitless, then we may as well have something to focus on and have something to emerge out the other side with. Together we worked remotely to write an EP within the space of a year, meeting up only once just before the second lockdown for a day in the studio.”
Kerry and Pete then spent the first part of 2021 in Bali, where they worked with Indian and Venezuelan musicians Farley Hallatu (bass) and Jordan Vegas (guitar) to record their first music video. The result was a rock cover of Eve and Gwen Stefani’s Let Me Blow Your Mind, which was released in August and was shot in an abandoned theme park in Bali and an old Norwegian church ruin.
The band is now predominantly London-based, with Kerry, Henrik and Pete joined by Belgian guitarist Quentin Rolandt while they remain on the hunt for a bassist.
Our first taste of the band is their debut single Mr. Obsanity, which was released on Sunday (17 October). The track opens up with a delicious diving riff that gives way to Kerry’s engaging spoken/rapped vocals, which feed into more singalong chorus vocals “Mr. Obsanity, The world’s your enemy, Use your misogyny to hide your jealousy, Think you’re untouchable, Think you’re indestructible, Mr. Obsanity, you fucked your legacy, hey!”
The pace drops a little as lone vocals open up a second verse that increases in intensity through to a second chorus. A winding little guitar lick ends on a stab of guitars that give way to lone vocals and dreamy instrumentals, which drop into a return of the big opening riff. And that feeds into a big final blast of the chorus.
On the release of their debut track, Kerry told us: “Buzzing! This is the heaviest track that we have written to date both musically and lyrically. It comes with a trigger warning in the sense of… if you are a racist, paedophile or misogynist then you probably won’t like the song. It calls out a few notable figureheads in powerful positions who have abused their ability to exploit but is written from a position of empowerment and the rising up. It’s important for us to write about things that mean something but we still want people to fucking dance… hence the fat, funky, attention demanding riffs.” Check out this excellent debut single here:
Borderline Toxic’s members bring a range of influences to the mix. Kerry tells us her biggest influences are Hole, Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Quentin calls out Papa Roach, Audioslave and Devin Townsend, while Henrik is more into Animal Alpha, In This Moment and Korn.
And on what inspires them to write music, Kerry explains: “We don’t necessarily have a specific agenda but all the songs we have written have been about shit that has actually happened. We want our music to be relatable and real, you know?
“Mr Obsanity, that’s essentially an angry diss track about those in high places who exploit to push their own agendas. Which is quite a different theme to our unreleased song 24, which is loosely based on a time when you found yourself engaged on Ketamine…everyone has done that right? OK, so maybe that’s not relatable but, believe it or not… still a true story… You get the gist, we’re pulling on real life events and making people dance to them.”
Mr. Obsanity will be followed up with a full music vdieo that’s been shot with a green screen and illustrated and animated by Simon Mulligan. They’re also working towards the release of a full album, which they’ll build up to with a few singles that they promise “are bangers.” So the band’s focus us on writing, releasing and gigging into 2022 – as well as finding the right bassist.