Blackpool noise rock trio Uncle Paul liken their sound to us as “tuning a radio, tuning in and out of stations” and self-describe themselves as “refined musical dyslexia.” The band have a classic old-school DIY sensibility, they simply get together with no preconceived ideas and see what the music brings them.
The trio of Niall Carroll (guitar), Daniel Worsley (vocals and bass) and Luke Williams (drums and backing vocals) started as an improv band back in 2011. They had a band name but no songs, so they decided to play gigs and see what happened while they played.
As Niall says: “It was a wild summer playing every gig we could. It was during this time we had a chance to record for a local label MustDieRecords. We decided to try and write some actual structured songs. We did and we liked it! From there on in, we wrote our own stuff and felt our style of music fits the EP format better.”
And on the Uncle Paul sound, Niall explains: “It’s energetic alternative rock music with passion. We believe in what we are playing. The first port of call, to any of our songs, is to work on our parts so that we enjoy playing them. I could also liken our songs to tuning a radio, tuning in and out of stations. Our songs have their own identity yet somehow sound cohesive when sequenced together. The songs duck n’ weave and paint a rocking tapestry.”
The band recently released third EP Dot Rotten, on which Niall told us: I think this continues the musical adventure the band started with our first EP. As we’ve progressed so has the music whilst retaining its original intention and bite. The music has essentially come from jamming together and this EP is definitely our strongest offering yet.
“This is our Return of The King. The first EP was our Fellowship of The Ring. Getting together, deciding to start a journey. Our second EP was our Two Towers. Getting there but not quite. We were still on the journey. Still ascending. With this EP we have finally reached the summit. We are where we want to be musically and as a band. I was going to use the Godfather as an example but the third one wasn’t so good and I always wondered why Charlton Heston was in it…”
The EP opens up with Ocean, which gradually builds up to big fuzzy guitars and rolling drums. Chugging bass comes in and feeds into a blast of energetic vocals “You’re gonna drop into the ocean, Keep your head above the water, And how long do you think you will keep your head, keep your head.”
The songs are short and sweet as portrayed by the lively Filming His Agony, which opens up with noisy guitars, cries of “Filming his agony” then wild screamed vocals. Bouncy guitars kick in and return amid a mass of wild noise to bring the 90-second track to an end.
That immediately dives into The Fat Controller, which opens up with a cool riff then cool vocal delivery through the opening verse, then booming guitar chords cut in under Daniel’s wild cries.
Next, Tiffany is apparently a pop-star and her weird fan base. It opens up with the lines “Tiffany you give a gift to me, The gift of psychic telepathy,I love you down to your bonemarrow, Wherever you go I’ll follow, Where there’s a mouse up inside your house” over driving guitars and drums. A cool little bass solo takes over after the second chorus then slower vocals “Tiffany I love you so, There’s one thing I thought you should know,” ending on a little piano twinkle before launching back into the opening vocals.
Drowning is equally lively, packed full of bouncy, fuzzy riffs under call and answer vocals then cries of “You won’t come up for air.” That drops into “Sick and drowning, sick and drown. And now you’re smothered in egg. Asphyxiating, overwhelming, sicking. Drowning in shit. Suffocating on the roach, sicking. And you won’t come up for air” that feed into more of the “And you won’t come up for air” vocals.
And the EP closes with its longest track A Warm Day In Texas, which starts with a lone bass riff under spoken vocals. The intensity builds up with the vocals “I’m locked and loaded, I’m in the zone, The death from above, The war has come home, Off to the clock tower… I’m a one army, A killing machine.” Big guitars kick in under wild vocals, then drop into a cool repeating riff that continues under screams and wild siren noises.
Interestingly, Niall tells us they’ve never discussed sounding like a certain type of band or music, but acknowledges bands like Sleep, Butthole Surfers to Jason Donavan (which we presume is a joke?) with a dose of The Melvins and even Sex Pistols may have a subconscious influence. As he says: “I just like the sound of a heavy guitar locked in with the drone of the bass and pounding drums. We pick up our instruments and play. That has always been the way. Three of us in a room coming up with organised dissonance.
“I think personally, the reason I am in a band is the unexplainable feeling it creates and the ability to create something. Regardless of how insignificant in the grand scheme of things our music might be, the three of us have something we created. If we were to aspire no further, we would still have the three of us, getting together, jamming and recording. Anything else will always be a bonus to me.”
While on what inspires them to write music, Niall adds: “I think unintentionally, your surroundings play a key to anyone’s musical styling and direction. Essentially, you are a victim of your surroundings. We are from Blackpool and the weather can be quite glum. We are surrounded by homelessness and senseless acts of crime daily. Making music and being creative is an escape from the daily grind. Our music can be bleak but there is always a pinhole of light with some of the songs being quite uplifting and some being a fractured statement on ones mental state of mind. If anything, the music is always moving and open to interpretation to the listener.”
The band have plenty more new sing ideas and hope to start recording again in the summer. As Niall says: “We get together, jam each week with a view of pleasing ourselves musically and then we refine the ideas, seeing what happens. We would like to play Amsterdam and loosely discussed playing there a few weeks ago. I think we are erotic and sleazy enough to go down well there. If anyone in Amsterdam wants us to play their venue let us know.”