Thank have released their brand new single, “Dread“, the third track taken from their upcoming full length debut, Thoughtless Cruelty, out February 4th. Leave it to Thank to have us all singing “there’s never been a good band from London.”
Over the past four years Thank have become a bright spot within the UK noise rock and punk scene, a band that has drawn a wide range of comparisons from The Body to Xiu Xiu. Their blend of abrasive punk, distorted synths, harsh electronic noise, and a sordid sense of humor is on permanent display throughout Thoughtless Cruelty, an expertly crafted record that darts between hypnotic and catastrophic, all with a sarcastic bite.
“Dread” and it’s massive refrain came from an off the cuff late night tweet from the band’s own Freddy Vinehill-Ciffe, which eventually leads to alternate sardonic yelps of “there’s never been a good band from Leeds” (Thank’s own hometown) and “in fact there’s never been a good band that’s ever been alive.” It would be a dismal outlook if it wasn’t such a hilarious and obviously insincere statement. The video keeps us with that sense of humor, capturing a Derek Acorah look-alike, a British TV “medium” who searched haunted places and hosted “seances,” giving us a fitting tour of the town.
‘Thoughtless Cruelty’ is a stark observation of human cruelty filtered through the band’s grim fascinations including long term nuclear warnings, CNN’s Turner Doomsday Video (opening song ‘From Heaven’ is a partial reworking of the Latin verse from ‘Nearer My God To Thee’, the hymn performed in that video), the writings of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, and the “business as usual” liberal politics which has given way to the global rise of the far right.
Unlike Thank’s previous material, which was largely honed at gigs and then recorded almost entirely live, the pandemic found the band in unchartered territory as they hit the studio having not been in the same building for months, including most of the album’s writing period.
Says vocalist Freddy Vinehill-Cliffe on the recording of the album –
“It was a very different way of working for us; most of the songs did not have an arrangement figured out, we added layers to serve each track without worrying about how it would translate in a live setting. I guess that’s the norm for a lot of bands, but it was a very novel experience for us.”
The result is an undeniably fascinating and enthralling album which sees the band incorporating more melody than on previous releases (on EXAG’ Records, Hominid Sounds, Buzzhowl Records). Clear influences can be heard throughout; Xiu Xiu in the looped 808s of ‘Plausible Deniability’ and the chaotic xylophones of ‘Paris Syndrome’, The Body in the layers of dense distortion throughout, and These New Puritans in the blunt syncopation of ‘From Heaven’, as well as less obvious reference points like Drunk In Hell, Tears For Fears and Marie Davidson.