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ZEN F.C.

Thank

Torture Cube / Dead Dog In A Ditch

    Leeds band Thank return with new single ‘Torture Cube’, the first track to be taken from an upcoming double A - side 7” “ Torture Cube / Dead Dog In A Ditch ”, out via Yard Act’s Zen F.C label on 21 July.

    “Torture Cube / Dead Dog In A Ditch” is a slab of guitar fury filtered through Nine Inch Nails’ industrial metal and Full of Hell’s blunt - force hardcore plus a healthy dose of humour fed by one too many nights soundtracked by donk pranksters Lobsta B and DJ Fingerblast.

    Speaking on the release, vocalist/guitarist Freddy Vinehill - Cliffe says, “This was our first time in the studio with our friend and Leeds avant - metal legend Steve Myles on drums, and like a lot of our peers it marke d a return to honing tunes in a grotty rehearsal spot rather than writing remotely. The result feels like it has that pent up, fraught, fidgety energy of our first EP, combined with the more ambitious arrangements we started to experiment with on our debut LP ‘Thoughtless Cruelty’. Personally, I think it’s quite good actually.”

    Thank formed in 2016 out of Leeds’ notorious DIY collective, CHUNK. Over the next half - decade they gained acclaim for the EPs ‘Sexghost Hellscape’ and ‘Please’, toured in mainland Eu rope, and caught the attention of heavy hitters like Idles with their combination of anxious disco grooves and harsh noise freakouts.

    Thank become the latest in a string of artists to release via Yard Act’s Zen F.C. label, following on from the likes of Nu ha Ruby Ra, Baba Ali, Benefits and Yard Act themselves all of who’s 7” broke into the UK vinyl singles charts and Sheffield’s one man rave collective Acid Klaus who’s Step On My Travelator LP was released in November 2022.

    TRACK LISTING

    A. Torture Cube
    AA: Dead Dog In A Ditch

    Acid Klaus

    Step On My Travelator: The Imagined Career Trajectory Of Superstar DJ & Dance Pop Producer, Melvin Harris

      Acid Klaus, the new collaborative solo project from songwriter-producer and Northern England cult leg-end, Adrian Flanagan (The Moonlandingz, International Teachers of Pop, Eccentronic Research Council & lots more) releases his debut concept album co-produced with his music partner in the ERC, Dean Honer titled Step On My Travelator: The Imagined Career Trajectory of Superstar DJ & Dance-Pop Producer, Melvin Harris via Yard Act's ZEN F.C. label.

      The album features contributions from Adrian’s long-time collaborators and friends including actress, Maxine Peake, US musician and video director, Charlotte Kemp Muhl (Ghost of a Sabertooth Tiger), Maria Uzor from Sink Ya Teeth and the Bradford-born pop-noir singer (currently singing in The Specials), Hannah Hu who is joined on lap steel guitar on a track by Richard Hawley. The album is completed by a whole host of fresh and exciting artists (as well as the aforementioned Lieselot Elzinga) – there's the enigmatic Queen Bee of the Calder Valley, solo artist, Bianca Eddleston who goes under the name Soft Focus and finally from South Wales (and the current talk of the South London scene), the incredible welsh language singer-songwriter, Cat Rin.

      Flanagan proclaims about the album: “I hereby herald in a masterclass of conceptual brilliance and sonic floor-shaking heroism. A record that is both mocking and hugging in its stance – a solid and weighty brick in the face to the horrid and cod sincere, brat histrionics of the easy-on-the-eye careerist indie minstrel. Where I, an invisible bruised and battered craftsman of high (and low) art for nigh on two decades is finally (and begrudgingly) held aloft like a prize-winning Champion Cock at a village fete whilst a demonically futurist/modernist B-Boy B-Girl group bring the gathered throng, deep, penetrative, body music!”

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: The superb Adrian Flanagan returns this week for a grooving, gritty dancefloor wonder, featuring bandmate and all-round musical polymath, Dean Hohner, Maria Uzor of Sink Ya Teeth, the wonderful Maxine Peake and MANY more. The perfect odyssey, and no surprise at all given the roster of talent. Ace.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Step On My Travelator
      2. Party Sized Away Day (feat Maria Uzor)
      3. Bethlehem Or Bust (feat. Cat Rin)
      4. Blow Your Speakers (feat. Soft Focus)
      5. Crashing Cars In Ibiza (feat Maria Uzor)
      6. Bad Club Bad Drugs Bad People
      7. Elevate (feat. Charlotte Kemp Muhl)
      8. The Three Rooms Of Nightclub Marilyn (feat Lieselot Elzinga)
      9. I Used To Be A DJ In A Club (But Now I'm Just A DJ In My Bedroom)
      10. My Hats On Fire (feat. Hannah Hu And Richard Hawley)
      11. Eulogy To A Quiet Life (feat. Maxine Peake)

      Nuha Ruby Ra

      My Voice / Eggshells

        Nuha Ruby Ra releases her double A-side 7” “My Voice / Eggshells” on 11 November 2022 via Zen F.C., the label run by Yard Act members James Smith and Ryan Needham. Having bonded during her special guest slot on Yard Act’s May UK tour, Zen FC couldn’t resist asking Nuha to be the next artist in their series of 7”s, following on from Baba Ali and Benefits, not to mention Yard Act’s own early releases.

        Nuha says of the release: “Putting out My Voice on 7” with Eggshells on the flip side is a special little world at night in my head. They’re both purgatory in different ways. it’s a special song for me I wasn’t ready to part with. Until James asked me to be further a part of the Yard Act family and release something on Zen FC!

        I was in the middle of more crazy touring after I left them and decided giving them Eggshells right now is like giving your new best friend your new favourite toy, to show them you really love them. I sort of forgot other people will hear it. Also the toy is a bit weird. My love for Yard Act, as artists and humans is deep! They’ve grown to mean so much to me over the big tour we did together. I’ve found a real kindred spirit in all of them. Not least to say It’s a real honour to be alongside the brilliant artists on Zen FC, Baba Ali, Benefits, Acid Klaus, Elton John.. I think they’re all very good.”

        Yard Act’s James Smith says of the release: “I first witnessed the immense powers of Nuha Ruby Ra on the 31st July 2021, when we shared a new band bill together in the basement of YES Manchester. Covid restrictions had been lifted a week prior and the general etiquette of how to exist in crowded rooms was still being navigated. I watched Nuha's set from the back with a mask on, but the days of rubbing post-show shoulders in the green room were yet to return and so I became a fan, but not yet a friend.

        Her debut mini album came through the post not long after and I listened to it relentlessly. I played it to the band, and we unanimously agreed that if she was up for it we would take her on tour with us. She was up for it. Cosmic. Every member of Yard Act and our touring crew made a friend for life in Nuha when we toured together earlier this year. The least we could do is help a friend and gain cool points by releasing such a banging record on our label. Long live Nuha Ruby Ra, the artist and the human.”

        Yard Act

        Dark Days EP - 2022 Repress

          Since this was originally released, Yard Act have gone on to be one of 2022’s defining artists with the release of their debut album ‘The Overload’, and their rise has been as entertaining as it has been meteoric. And as well as touring the world and smashing sales records, they’ve still found time to continue Zen FC, releasing acclaimed 7”s from Baba Ali and Benefits.

          Being the budding record industry moguls that they are, they couldn’t bear to see the Dark Days EP languishing out of print. So they commandeered a Danish pressing plant and rudely shoved their way to the front of the queue, picked a new colour (silver in honour of the Overload finishing second in the album charts) and rushed through a repress in time for the summer. And while they were at it, they sorted out a run on the format of the future, cassette.

          So there you have it: while you’re thinking about putting ‘The Overload’ at the top of your albums of 2022, you can enjoy the EP of 2021 all over again.

          TRACK LISTING

          A1. Dark Days
          A2. Peanuts
          B1. Fixer Upper
          B2. The Trapper's Pelts


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