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A House Full Of Strangers
Wild Spelks A House Full Of Strangers Punk Rock Theory
Wednesday, April 17, 2024 - 21:11
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Newcastle melodic punk newcomers Wild Spelks are delighted to announce their debut EP A House Full Of Strangers, set for release on 21st June 2024. The EP was produced, mixed, and mastered by songwriter/musician/producer Jonathon Sabiston throughout 2023 at home in his Newcastle flat, with drum takes recorded at Blank Studios, Newcastle with engineer Chris McManus (Pit Pony, Du Blonde, TV Death).

“I’m lucky enough to have a spare room in my flat in Newcastle, which my wife has lovingly let me turn into a delicately balanced sh*t-heap of guitars and speakers,” says Sabiston of the recording sessions for the record. “It’s in there where I write and record 90% of any Wild Spelks record. The rest is almost always in the hands of Newcastle producer and engineer Chris McManus (Du Blonde, Pit Pony) where he takes his place on the desk, we discuss snare sounds for hours over coffee, and then generally use the first take of any drums we record and go home. Thank you Chris.”

To celebrate the news, the band are streaming lead single ‘Help Myself’ which is released on 11th April 2024, and follows on from previously released EP track ‘Take It From A Friend’ earlier this year. A reflection on substance abuse and the catastrophic effects it can have on relationships and friendships, the song’s upbeat melodies juxtapose eerily with its dark lyrical subject matter, echoing Nimrod-era Green Day at their finest, a touch of Manic Street Preachers searing ‘90s britpop threaded with glockenspiel and hammond organs, and some wistful heartlands rock energy to boot.

Lending its lyrics to the EP’s title, it paints a bleak image that leaves little to the imagination—‘This house is full of strangers, with no hopes of getting old, the paraffin-esque burning, stinging nose and blood stained clothes.’

Commenting on the track, Sabiston says: “I’m brutally honest with the lyrics on this one, to the point where ‘I told you secrets late last night, I don’t remember them at all’ could be a quote. I see ‘Help Myself’ as a sort of juxtaposition to our last single and rest of the record, which really sings of supporting each other through shit times, but Help Myself is a ‘you’re on your own with this one’ sort of story.”

“Lyrically it’s dark—it’s about using too many substances, to the point that your life is completely falling apart, whilst you’re clinging onto scraps of relationships and friendships.”

Taking their name from the pangs of anxiety that dig into Sabiston like a splinter whenever he is feeling panicked, “spelks” is local Newcastle dialect for a splinter, with the “wild” prefix defining the sheer out-of-the-blue timing of the attacks.

Mining a rich seam of melodic punk and alt-rock that should resonate with fans of Cold Years, The Menzingers, and Hot Water Music there’s also a tinge of the lo-fi sensibilities of the likes of Grandaddy and They Might Be Giants about their joyfully melancholy sound. As with all Wild Spelks’ material, all instrumentation on the record is performed, recorded, and mastered by Sabiston himself.

“However, just to confirm the forever-rumoured existence of a loving, supportive community of musicians in Newcastle, I have been so kindly guided and supported through the process by Chris McManus (Du Blonde, Pit Pony) and Paul Gregory (Lanterns on the Lake, Mastersystem),” he adds. “I’m so grateful for their contributions to the process, whilst mainly working on my own is a huge part of the Wild Spelks ethos, it can really leave you overthinking some elements of a song, whilst completely missing other parts that need attention.”