97% / FKA

Image of Jools - 97% / FKA
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Leicester punk sextet Jools have today released their new single ‘97%’, a provocative track spotlighting the ubiquity of sexual harassment in the lives of women. This comes alongside the band’s announcement of signing to UK indie label Hassle Records (Brutus, The Used, Casey), and the release of an upcoming double A-side 7” single in June.

‘97%’ draws on vocalist Kate Price’s own personal experiences and those of the women in her life. “The point of the song, however, is not to explore my experience as an isolated incident, but instead to force people to confront such commonplace experiences in a manner in which they can’t look away,” Price says. “Everybody knows a woman that has been harassed or assaulted, but nobody seems to know an abuser. That simply doesn’t add up. I want that song to feel uncomfortable because I want everyone who hears it to realise that just because they are not an abuser, that doesn’t mean they aren’t responsible for changing the culture and experiences of every woman. It’s a cry for justice in the world.”

To experience Jools in their most chaotic and unpredictable full flight is, the band were once told, to not know whether you are about to be kicked in the face or kissed on the cheek. Even that, however, feels like an understatement.

At any moment the Jools experience, on stage and on record, can turn on a sixpence from that of unbridled rage at the world to a celebration of the beauty that can still be found hidden in its murky corners. The punk rock of Jools is at once visceral and violent, cathartic and confrontational, and at the next exultant and exhilarating. Jools is duality by design, where contradiction is empowerment harnessed as a force for progress, sonically and societally.

A collective of musicians – Mitch Gordon and Kate Price on vocals, Chris Johnston and Callum Connachie on guitar, Joe Dodd on bass, and Chelsea Wrones on drums – spread between London and Leicester, Jools found each other as much by accident as design in the

earliest days of 2023. Together, they serve as a creative confluence for inspirations that move from the punk and post-punk of The Smiths, Fontaines DC, Iggy Pop, Amyl & The Sniffers and PJ Harvey, through the shoegaze of My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive, and into territories marked metal, rap and pop.

“There’s an unconventional nature to our music that builds an intensity and a tension and an atmosphere that is uniquely Jools,” Gordon says of the band’s layered cacophony, from which his and Price’s mostly spoken word vocals explode. “Combining all of these sounds is in some ways deliberately counterintuitive, so that Jools does not conform and cannot be placed inside conventional genre boxes. I’m proud when people tell me that they find it hard to categorize our band. We’re simply Jools.”

Such an ethos is carried throughout every facet of the band. If their music is often confrontational, sometimes fun, and always loud, the fashion of Jools is its equal, too, an embodiment of its spirit and message. “The freedom with which the band dresses is for us about reinforcing the ideal that people should be able to live their lives carefree and without judgment,” Price begins. “Rock’n’roll and fashion have always gone hand in hand, and we are greatly inspired by the giants and the pioneers who have come before us and the theatrics of the shows they delivered. Fashion gives us a freedom to reinvent ourselves any which way we choose, and to constantly challenge preconceptions of who and what Jools is.”

The world of Jools is a space in which such progress and evolution can thrive. It’s there on stage, and it’s there in your headphones. Jools is a freedom of sound and freedom of self, an unfiltered expression of and search for truth, expressed with inextinguishable indignation. Be it a punch in the face or a kiss on the cheek, Jools is nothing if not a band to believe in.


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