When we first met Blackpool rap-rockers Eye The Bomb we were instantly intrigued by their self-description: “Hip-Hop Punk-Funk-Fuckery Rock-Riffed up to Buggery.” Try saying that after a few jars of ale.
Thankfully, the rap-rockers are not just about fancy tongue-twisters though. Garth ‘GGGarth’ Richardson, who produced Rage Against The Machine’s self-titled debut album as well as working with the likes of From Autumn To Ashes, Kittie, Rise Against and Spineshank, said of Eye The Bomb’s debut EP Bastardise: “Very Cool! Very Rage Against The Machine meets Beastie Boys.”
Indeed, the Eye The Bomb sound is an intriguing combination of the rap / hip-hop soundsof the likes of Beastie Boys and Jurassic 5 meeting the riff-heavy rockiness of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against The Machine.
We’re delighted to be able to offer up an exclusive first of the five-piece’s video for brand new single Debt Roulette. The track kicks off with a little riff and big chunky bass with bursts of scratching, followed by a funky opening guitar riff that’s soon joined by rapped vocals throughout the opening verse, including repeats of “You think you’re in the clear, but you’re dealing with the fear, wake up.”
That’s followed by a catchy chorus of “Your debt, my debt, balance cheques,” then the funky riff continues with prolonged scratching before a second verse. After the second chorus there’s a brief bridge with wild scratching before launching into a wild blitz of fun guitar riffs and vocals leading into a big jumpy guitar solo before diving down into the original funky riff and a lively outro.
Check it out in our video exclusive below, in which frontman Ric Hulme wanders the streets in a dressing gown supping a can of Tennents Super (strong beer) then dons a Jurassic 5 tshirt and switches to champagne as he joins the rest of the band in a disused house:
The Eye The Bomb story began when Ric started a band called The Cheeky Keys back in 2008 with ex-bassist John ‘Chin’ Hardacre, but only played two gigs before disbanding. Ric and Wayne Whitby (drums) had played ice hockey together for a long time and one day Wayne mentioned he had a drum kit, so Ric suggested they get together for a jam with Chin, and The Cheeky Keys were reborn in 2014. After a few different line-ups and more than ten former members moving on the band, now completed by Ben Stevenson (guitar), Dean ‘Roundface’ Shaw (bass) and Scott Rogan (turntables), decided to change the name to Eye The Bomb and have gone from strength to strength ever since.
We had a chat with Ric to find out more, and he explained: “We have a lot of political and socially aware lyrical content but we are trying to explore other avenues and concepts this year. We really want to explore new ideas through production as well as just writing things on the fly in the studio this year.
“Obviously the love of music is the number one reason for us all to be in bands, but the brotherhood and social side of things is a real big part of it as well as the rush of being on stage. But mostly the recognition from anyone who digs our sound is enough to keep putting music out.”
The true Eye The Bomb experience is apparently in their live shows, which the band describe on Facebook as ‘a musical odyssey with a defined beginning, middle and end.’ Ric expanded: “The beauty of having a DJ in the band is we can tailor different intros and interludes into our sets, which adds a certain narrative to the performance depending on the event.
“For instance, we played the world famous Punk Festival ‘Rebellion’ last year so we created a sort of punk soundbite mix to kick the set off. Again, we recently played one of the Breakin’ Convention events, which celebrates all aspects of Hip Hop so Scotty created a bespoke intro which takes the listener down a brief history of the routes of Hip Hop. This, combined with a turntable showcase in the middle, gives our sets a unique structure around the actual tracks.”
Eye The Bomb are the first band we’ve met from Blackpool which, despite close ties to the larger musical scenes of Liverpool and Manchester, Ric tells us retains its own strong personality. “The scene is very much alive at the moment despite the closing of some of the town’s live music venues in recent years,” he said. “We had a real buzz going about 10 years ago then things really died down for a while, but things are on the up again with new venues like Bootleg Social and older venues really pushing the live music, such as The Waterloo Music Bar.
“We have a few independent promoters in the town working on bringing bigger acts into our little town, We were lucky enough to support Chali 2na from Jurassic 5 and also Chuck Mosley from Faith No More at Bootleg Social.”
Eye The Bomb have been snapped up by Sunbird Records, with whom they plan to record their debut album later this year. They also have a series of festivals upcoming, including Chester’s Summer Jam, Tribfest, St Anne’s Music & Arts Festival, Tatcon and Rebellion Fringe.