Sometimes you just have an itch that you need to scratch. Only a certain kind of nourishment will do. Sometimes you just desire some straight up and down indie guitar music. It might not be the height of fashion right now but who gives a fuck? Musical trends come and go like everything else but that fix that you get from a tasty riff or a catchy chorus… well my friend, there’s always a place for that.
Of late I’ve been scratching that itch with an album by Regional Creeps called No One Cares. What the band may actually find is that people do in fact care. Some people care quite a lot.
There has been a lot written in recent years about the response from bands and musicians to the political turmoil that we are all living through. I’m as guilty as anyone on that count. Expectations that artists have a responsibility to write a three minute song about fighting fascism, or which economic model they think is most suitable for our times. Yeah, ok. Some artists may do that and sometimes the results are brilliant. But sometimes four lads playing guitars, bass and drums and getting wasted whilst doing so is a response in itself, is it not? Ah, the old beat combo. Lovely stuff.
The response to a political shit show and a stolen future is to make good music, have a good time and see what happens from there. Well, why not? No One Cares is a great record. I won’t go full Lester Bangs and say it’s a matter of life and death but it does matter. The fact that young lads are still picking up instruments and making records matters and when it sounds good – well it matters just that little bit more.
There are echoes of Ride and other 90s indie bands throughout the album but none of it feels conscious or like mimicry. Musically there’s a hint of shoegaze thrown in there, touches of Mac DeMarco stoner rock, and despite earlier comments some of the lyrics do hint at the times we live in but it’s very subtle. Two things really stand out from the record. The DIY ethos towards the whole thing. The attitude is rock n roll – we’ll do this our own way. The lyrics on Do It For Yourself (arguably the stand out track on the album) sort of sum it up… ‘If you ever do anything, do it for yourself’. The second thing that jumps out on first listen is just how strong and memorable some of the riffs are and that’s a feeling that only grows the more you listen to the record.
The band took themselves off to Colne near Burnley to record the album and it sounds like they had a thoroughly excellent time doing so. Regional Creeps are a northern band, coming from Barnsley in South Yorkshire. Part of the beauty of what we lazily call indie music is that so often it can still appear from the unloved and overlooked nooks and crannies of the country. Hidden away in towns and on estates up and down this island are bands having a ball making music and if they can produce a riff like the one on opening track Hard To Choose then all the better.
It’s not necessary to say too much more really. Check out the cut-up slacker pop art aesthetic of the album and single covers, watch some of the mad videos which the band make and put out there, and listen to the record. It is very much capable of speaking for itself.