New Band of the Week: Picsel

It’s pretty terrifying when you sit back and think about Great Britain being run by a blithering fool in a time when no-one knows how or even if we’re leaving the European Union (thanks to a foolish decision by one of his predecessors who, allegedly, had improper relations with a pig), and what the effect of that will be on our society.

Therefore, it is more than fair to assess that our society is fucked – which is a contributing factor to being our last New Band of the Week written while living in the UK. This is also the inspiration for the brand new track from exciting alt-rockers Picsel.

The band’s musical approach is about as independent and DIY as it gets – channelling the spirit of the 90s punk and grunge that inspires this exciting new band. Their yet-to-be-released debut album was recorded over three days at Soundhaven Rehearsal Rooms in Swansea. But the songs themselves came from the quartet of Gareth (guitar and vocals), Tom (bass and vocals), David (drums) and guitarist Justin, who also engineered and produced the record, playing for 12 hours straight in the live room.

The four members of Picsel are split between Swansea and London, and it’s actually a side project to their alternative pop band Broken Fires. The most recent offering of the sound of the more lively, energetic side project is the very topically titled new single Fucked Society, which was released at the end of last month.

It opens up with a little light lick under drums, then explodes into a big smash of punky guitars and crashing cymbals. That drops into a verse of fast-paced vocals “Another violent storm, Another hateful fight, Fed up of being broke, Fed up of being alive,” which pick up pace with lively guitars and drums supporting a pre-chorus that ends on the line “The establishment tells us what we need, the silent apathy.”

A big singalong chorus follows “There was a time when we were free, Despite all our anxieties, But then we realised everything changes, There was a time when we were free, To love our fucked society, But then we realised everything changes now.” Give it a listen below:

On the track, they tell us: “It’s very topical! This song pokes fun at the absurdity of unequal and unfair modern Britain. It’s just so crazy to us that we are currently living in an age where 2 million food bank parcels are being handed out every year and somehow we have landed with a total buffoon as a Prime Minister. Meanwhile, everyone is mainly concerned about the next Love Island episode…”

Previous track Loggerheads continues the upbeat punkiness, opening up with a lively guitar lick that drops into a light verse that contains the line “I did my best to like Nickelback, your favourite band.” Palm-muted guitars come in over the next batch of awesome lyrics “You turn the stereo down when I put Weezer on, Pretend we’re strangers when I dress up for Comic-Con, You recorded over my VHS of Thundercats, And now you tell me you’ve never even heard of that.”

A light chorus “I am at loggerheads with you and all your friends, And soon I’m alone again ‘cos you are at loggerheads with me,” which drops into the opening lick then more intense vocals before dropping into another light chorus. A cheeky little guitar solo takes over and drops into a heavier final blast of the chorus. Check it out below:

The band are hugely influenced by classic 90s grunge and guitar pop like Nirvana, Weezer and Ben Folds, as well as being big fans of Japandroids, the first Fidlar record and bands like the Menzingers. And, as they put it, they sound a bit like “Japandroids and Weezer playing a house party with Larry David as the main lyricist.”

These tracks set us up nicely for the release of the band’s debut album, which will be released next month. On it, they tell us: “Our album Modern Life Discovery is all about the awkward weirdness of modern living. There are songs about alcohol and drugs, depression, social media killing us, getting fat and old… all the dark stuff but done with a reasonably cheery post-punk overtone…”

Not content with getting their first album released and a couple of album release parties, the guys are also hard at work recording the second album for their other project.

You can follow Picsel on Facebook and Instagram, and check out their music on Spotify, iTunes and Bandcamp.

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