Shaking Chains are intelligent but ferocious, definitively Northern but deeply universal.
New single 'Midnight Oil' b/w 'Drunk No More' is an apt introduction, with the band's bellicose lyricism matched to some supremely dark post-punk noize.
The lead single is already making waves, but Clash has decided to hone in on the flip, and it's evocation of recovery from mental illness.
Nathan Mcilroy explains: "'Drunk No More' is the thirteenth step of a twelve-step programme - one foot into the abyss. When you get to the bottom but before you're physically and mentally capable of going back to the top of the slide. Homer's Night Out..."
Lyrically, the song is a salute to Carol Batton, Poet Laureate for Mental Health Survivors, and the video picks up on these themes.
Jack Hardiker (drummer and video artist) explains: "Here nauseous gloop remodels itself on the chin as a slow-motion stalactite of horror, a steady drip of hangover regret that sticks in the frame and the face. With a nod to the stylised title sequences of Jean-Luc Godard, distorted lyrics flash back at you on the screen like slivery figments of chat from the night before. But they're the wrong lyrics, intruding at angles it hurts to tilt your head towards. By the time you’ve figured it out they’re gone, replaced by awkward giggles and incessant, oil-based weirdness."
"Playing on both song titles, the imagery is indicative of that typically British love of punning, a welcome antithesis to the complex and occasionally lofty ambitions of the ‘Midnight Oil’ film. Here they are, hungover and falling back on single shot, lizard brain manoeuvres. But this ‘hair of the dog’ has not felt, or looked, any grimmer. Purgatory, purgatory, purgatory."
Watch it now.
Catch Shaking Chains at the Tooting Tram & Social on April 21st.