My band of the week this week is a local Liverpool band that I had the pleasure to discover only a few weeks ago and was excited to play their second single “Real?” last week on my radio show.
You know when you listen to something new for the first time not knowing quite what to expect and it is nothing like you would imagine and blows your mind somewhat? Well that was my experience of listening to the Isrights.
When I spoke to their lead singer Ché Wilson about the band and what kind of music they made, he said “Well it’s hard to describe its genre it’s kind of a mix of everything” I assumed by that he meant just another indie band with a psychedelic punk vibe or something along those lines but when I listened I was gobsmacked at the seamless fusion of genres within one track. I could only describe the feeling as it sounds like someone got some bits of early Arctic Monkeys and Tame Impala, a dash of Cabbage, and a smattering of the Specials and Bob Marley, put them in a bag, shook it up and out came the Isrights. It’s crazy but it works.
The band, comprising Ché Wilson on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Matt McNamara on lead guitar and backing vocals, Jack Hendrie on drums, and Jamie Wall on bass, might be young but their complex polished sound belies their youth and I can see them moving on to much bigger things, already having played a sold-out headline show at the O2. They are steadily building a solid reputation locally and have played numerous venues around the city, including 24 Kitchen Street, the Magnet, the Arts Club and Zanzibar.
They describe themselves, with an impressive use of alliteration, as “Skeptical Scouse ska-punk.” With a complex mix of punk, reggae, psychedelic and dub sounds in their songs, I would describe their sound as “completely crazy but creatively crafted.”
This band really have embraced the current trend for the cross-pollination of genres and taken it to a whole new level of depth and sophistication. There’s a synergy to their sound despite its apparent chaotic mix and considering their output is self-produced and published under their own label, Xjukebox, I can’t help but be impressed by their talent.
The band have released three tracks so far, all in 2016. “Summer 05/ Drinking Games” their first release last summer addressed the issue of young people’s reckless drinking habits and reminisced on younger, more innocent, times. They released their second offering in November and this track Real? ( which meaning is altered by the use of a question mark after it ) is my favourite of the three. According to the band it “questions the spectacle of a world the band grew up in, full of illusion and false prophets, where simple lies beat complicated truths – a ghost town of ideas and ideals, with hollow reality stars idolised and idealised as this celebration of the mediocre continues to dilute popular culture.”
They are not only accomplished musicians but have an honesty and realism to their lyrics which adds a new layer of meaning to their music.
Set to play at Sound City’s second emerging artists of 2017 event at the Magnet on 31st of March, alongside the Sneaky Nixons and the Floormen supporting Abi Harding’s new band AbiChan, they are definitely a band to look out for in 2017.
Listen to their music here
Photo credit: Elizabeth Maddock