Friday 16 September 2022

Loose Articles - Chaos EP

2022 has been the year where you can't move around Manchester without seeing Loose Articles somewhere. What's been missing so far is a full release and the Chaos EP has arrived to fill that gap, picking up this year's single releases and more.

Whether it be in the front row of a gig, Radio 1 or 6 Music, festivals, Match Of The Day or their sadly postponed appearance with Foo Fighters at Old Trafford, they seem to be everywhere. Loud, unrepentant with it and vocally challenging the misogyny of the music industry and football and sticking two fingers up to the patriarchy, they've made a name for themselves. They've trailblazed a path for female artists to follow in the future in terms of exposure and getting yourself heard in a music business, in Manchester at least, that still has a major issue with the diversity of performers. Chaos is their second EP and the question on everyone's lips is can they do it in a recording studio when the spotlight is on them for the first time.

There's plenty here for those who loved their debut EP Orchid Lounge, but also plenty to show that they're developing as a band and not resting on their laurels. Chaos is a fitting title for the EP (and the opening track) as they're not great believers in traditional song structures with key changes, multiple vocalists in the same song and volte face changes of direction aplenty across the four songs that leave the listener uncertain of where they're going to go next. Whilst the production is more polished than before it's still got the raw edge of their early recordings.

As always they've got plenty to say and still lean heavy on the repetition, repetition, repetition with a sardonic drawl that they advertise themselves as. The title track Chaos takes aim at climate change deniers with the key line "morticians will drown under the rising of sounds before they take this threat to existence seriously" running throughout and across the song's multiple ever-changing sections.

Eggshells starts to explore the possibilities of Loose Articles expanding their sound from the two minute punch in the face, kick in the bollocks approach of much of the debut EP. Clocking in at over five minutes and taking the foot off the accelerator pedal without losing the unpredictable edge that runs through their work. It's an early live song that they've revisited and reinvented and the main pointer here to where Loose Articles might head in future.

The EP concludes with the two lead singles. Dirty Dick's Food And Ale Emporium is a song most of us will be able to relate to given the creeping gentrification that is blanding out our town and city centres. It's a lament to Natalie's teenage haunt The Royal Oak in her hometown of Halifax that closed when the floor fell in to be replaced by a spruced up bar that lacks any of the character of what it's replaced. Delivered at breakneck speed with Natalie's vocals fighting for space with the instruments it's a very strong representation of Loose Articles live experience.

The final song is Kick Like A Girl, their modern football anthem that has garnered them most attention so far, hitting out at the misogyny that surrounds both the women's game and female interest in the man's game as well as their own unmissable football kit merchandise. The raw riffs and primitive repetitive drumming that has become Loose Articles trademark are very much to the forefront.

Chaos is a document of where Loose Articles are at this point in time, recapping their past twelve months and offering a few indicators to where their next twelve might take them. Their fierce independent take-no-shit spirit runs right through its centre, uncompromising and in your face and standing toe to toe with anyone who stands in their path.

The EP is available digitally from Bandcamp and on vinyl via the Alcopop store.

Loose Articles are on Facebook and Twitter.

They play Morgans Bar in Manchester on October 1st - tickets here


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