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SLOW CLUB

The Slow Readers Club

Knowledge Freedom Power

    When The Slow Readers Club hit the studio in early 2022 with producer Joe Cross (Hurts/Courteeners), they battled dark times with a refreshing optimism. The result is ‘Knowledge Freedom Power’ , a sizzling synth-rock beast of a record akin to White Lies, Muse and modern-day Bloc Party, and a rallying cry of emancipation, both stylistically and socially. It’s a righteous punch of the air, a surge towards the future.Frontman Aaron Starkie says, “The world had got so bleak it felt a little indulgent to paint apocalyptic pictures when they were out in the real world. I thought people would probably want to hear more uplifting things, it was my intention to be a bit more positive. There’s still a lot of melodrama in there and it’s still dystopian in places but there’s more positive shades in this record.”

    That positivity powers to the fore with the album’s lead single and title track, an instantly addictive hybrid of the band’s new pulsating synth style with their anthemic alt - rock roots. Its streamlined, straight – to – the - point hook highlights the fact that there can be an alternative to a world which is becoming increasingly authoritarian and ignoring the needs of the many in favour of the few. Aaron adds, “Growing up as a council estate kid in Manchester I was very conscious of having a limited horizon and I guess I had a chip on my shoulder and something to prove. It’s that background that inspired both our band name and the album’s title track ‘Knowledge Freedom Power’. It is an exercise in positive sloganeering, a mantra for education as a means of a way out from social and psychological confinement.” As much as the record finds The Slow Readers Club channelling a brighter spirit, there’s no dumbing down of their famously ferocious and insightful lyricism. A beam of hope shines throughout ‘Sacred Song’ : part in the form of a spiritual saviour, but also embracing the power of love as a force for good, something which can also be achieved by the friendship and community spirit infused in ‘Lay Your Troubles On Me’ . Yet a darkness still looms large, whether its within the warmongering satire - and ultimately individual powerlessness – of ‘Seconds Out’ or the steady march of automation over the human workforce on opener ‘Modernise’ ‘Knowledge Freedom Power’ is the band’s sixth album and the latest giant leap in one of the greatest self-made success stories in recent British rock history. Since debuting in 2011 with their eponymous and self - released debut album, they’ve constantly grown in stature leading to sold - out headline gigs including the Manchester Apollo and London’s Scala , shows as guests to Pixies ,Catfish and The Bottlemen and James , as well as festivals stretching from the Neighbourhood Weekender to Mad Cool Madrid.

    When lockdown kicked in the same week that ‘The Joy Of The Return’ debuted at #9, The Slow Readers Club reacted to the cancellation of their touring plans by creating a darker, more ethereal set of songs, which they recorded via Whats App and Google Drive and by recording one band member at a time in the studio. The result was ‘91 Days in Isolation’ , which they self-released in October 2020 Knowledge Freedom Power’

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Liam says: Next outing for Manchester favourites The Slow Readers Club, 'Knowledge Freedom Power' takes the band's signature dark power-pop and refines it to the nth degree! Big soaring choruses, mega vocals and crisp synths, Readers fans will love this!

    TRACK LISTING

    1.‘Modernise’
    2.‘Afterlife’
    3. ‘Sacred Song’
    4.‘Lay Your Troubles On Me’
    5.‘How Could You Know?’
    6. ‘Knowledge Freedom Power’
    7. ‘What Might Have Been’
    8. ‘Seconds Out’
    9. ‘Forget About Me’
    10. ‘No You'

    The Underground Youth

    Low Slow Needle - Reissue

      To celebrate its ten-year anniversary, Fuzz Club Records are reissuing The Underground Youth’s 2011 ‘Low Slow Needle’ EP on 10” vinyl with remastered audio. ‘Low Slow Needle’s hauntingly minimal, neo-psychedelic melancholy provides a more lo-fi snapshot of the now-Berlin-based band’s earlier days – when The Underground Youth was more of a DIY solo endeavour for Blackpool-born musician Craig Dyer, as opposed to the much-adored, full-band, international touring force that it is now. Looking back on ‘Low Slow Needle’, Dyer said: “The EP was recorded in September 2011, I had just returned to the UK from St. Petersburg where Olya [now drummer in The Underground Youth] and I had just got married.

      Olya had to stay in Russia to finalise her paperwork before we would move into our first home together in Manchester. It was a difficult time, being apart after just getting married, and so I distracted myself by working on these songs that would become the Low Slow Needle EP. It was sort of my love letter to that period, looking back and also looking to the future. I worked closely with mine and Olya's friend in St. Petersburg, Daria Xenofontova, who gave her beautiful voice to my words and featured on three of the most popular songs on the EP, 'Midnight Lust', 'Addiction' and 'Blue'. These three songs still remain popular with our fans, who still request we play them live to this day.” When compared with the cinematic folk-noir heard on the band’s tenth album, the newly-released ‘The Falling’ (2021), what we find here captures a more stark and stripped-back The Underground Youth as the project was about to come out of its embryonic phase: “All five tracks were recorded in my bedroom and I really wanted to strip back the sound, to give a romantic feel of that period for me. To consider it 10 years on, it feels like the beginning to the next step of the journey, my life in Manchester with Olya, making contact with Casper at Fuzz Club and signing up with the label (this came just after the release of Low Slow Needle) and us putting together the first incarnation of TUY's live band (again this followed the release of the EP). So, in a way, this record marked the end of the first era of The Underground Youth, and in doing so, paved the way for the next.”

      TRACK LISTING

      1) Midnight Lust
      2) On Your Screen
      3) Addiction
      4) Blue
      5) Witchcraft

      The Slow Readers Club

      The Joy Of The Return

        Manchester’s The Slow Readers Club return with their fourth album, The Joy Of The Return. Opening to an energetic blend of driving drums and infectious guitar lines, the opening track builds through evocative verses and anthemic choruses, imbued with their idiosyncratic brand of insightful and confronting lyricism and set against relentlessly danceable and energy-provoking instrumentation. “‘All I Hear’ is about a lack of agency and an inability to affect change. That there’s something happening, and you have no choice but to go along with it,” explains singer Aaron Starkie.

        Throughout the album, the band explore a vast swathe of sonic territory, from the passionately delivered ‘All The Idols’, to the poppier tones of ‘Jericho’ that power through with bright indie guitar lines and ethereally melodic choruses.  Recorded at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool and produced by long-standing collaborator Phil Bulleyment, The Joy Of The Return marks a significant change in the band’s process, with their extensive touring allowing them time to write and develop tracks and arrangements through soundchecks and back-of-van jams.

        “I think it’s definitely our most interesting and accomplished record musically,” says singer Aaron Starkie. “Lyrically the album covers love, alienation, the rise of right wing populism and comments on algorithm driven propaganda. And as always, I try to deliver those lyrics with uplifting melody.”

        The dark power-pop that defined their previous releases holds a strong influence, with the brooding ‘No Surprise’ providing a powerful dose of evocative lyricism amid immersive soundscapes, while the unsettling ‘Paris’ is an undulating exploration of observational songwriting and eclectic musicality The swelling, arena-sized ‘Zero Hour’ displays the enormity of The Slow Readers Club sound and sets the precedent for their incredibly exciting future, while ‘The Wait’ closes the album with a beautifully absorptive combination of atmospheric synths flipping the pace of the record on its head to intoxicating effect.


        TRACK LISTING

        Side A
        1. All I Hear
        2. Something Missing
        3. Problem Child
        4. Jericho
        5. No Surprise
        6. Paris

        Side B
        1. Killing Me
        2. All The Idols
        3. Every Word
        4. Zero Hour
        5. The Wait

        Slow Club

        One Day All Of This Won't Matter Any More

          How do you keep a band interesting after ten years? It’s a question Slow Club’s Charles Watson and Rebecca Taylor must have asked themselves as they started work on their fourth album.The answer seems to be producer Matthew E. White, the master of Southern-gothic folk, whose in-house band at Richmond’s Spacebomb Studios provided the consistency and tone the album required. Almost every track was played live in the studio, allowing the long-established session band’s natural chemistry to augment Charles and Rebecca’s, with the double advantage of recording being very effective, and also comparatively quick.

          One Day…. contains some of the best melodies they’ve yet created. The duo’s knack for writing hooks and melody has, if anything, become stronger. There are choruses here you instantly feel you’ve known your whole life, like ‘Ancient Rolling Seas’ timeless, reassuring refrain of “I’ll always be by your side”, or ‘Champion’’s Dolly Parton via-Linda Ronstadt anthem of self-celebration through the darkest times. Perhaps best of all are a pair of songs to be found at the top of what traditionalists would call “side 2”- ‘Rebecca Casanova’, a slice of widescreen, four-to-the-floor pop that recalls soft-rock giants Fleetwood Mac in the way it channels heartbreak onto the dancefloor, and ‘Tattoo Of The King’, a tale that takes Neil Young and the Doobie Brothers to the disco.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: Chemistry like this doesn't come along every day. It is clear from the offset that Slow Club work on another level of understanding : there is a warmth and subdued energy to all of these pieces that demonstrate how important that understanding is. 'In Waves' is assured Southern country of the highest order while 'Sweetest Grape On The Vine' could easily have some of the best close vocal harmonies i've heard for a long time. 'Rebecca Casanova' is perfectly stripped-back yet sounds surprisingly complete. Intoxicating and mesmerising songs with strikingly effective production. A triumphant return for Slow Club.


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