Armed with a far more dense low-end on this record, alongside their unsettling angular melodies, Bristol-via-London based noise-rock crew MODERN RITUALS are back with their new record ‘This Is The History’, and today we’re thrilled to give you their new single called “Scratcher In The Mash”. Their new offering simmers with a restless verve in its tonal marriage of the gentle and the grimy, and you can get its foretaste below.
Like Fugazi or The Jesus Lizard at their most disjointed, coupled with the violent fusion of Unsane and Melvins-esque sludge elements, Modern Rituals’ musical palette is one of extremes. It’s in the bands more explosive moments – when the restlessness boils over – that we can get a picture of a band operating wildly and freely without genre confines.
The album certainly pulls a lot of its strength from these more unhinged moments, but it should be noted, there’s also a shimmering and hazy quality to their more melodious cuts. ‘Them Days Is Gone’ and ‘You Can’t Tell A Man By The Songs He Sings’ both delicately unravel with a gentle precariousness, bubbling away with a nervous energy that’s as beautiful as it is exhausting.
‘This Is The History’ comes out on March 20th via Holy Roar Records.
There’s a warm familiarity in ‘This Is The History’s’ more palatable sounds, with names such as Sonic Youth or Pile no doubt likely to be cited as a reference point, but it’s in Modern Rituals’ more explosive moments – when the restlessness boils over – that we can get a picture of a band operating wildly and freely without genre confines.
Following shows with U.S. contemporaries such as Kal Marks, Hot Snakes and Pile and an appearance at ArcTanGent festival 2018, the band went on to tour with the likes of Cassels and Holding Patterns last year. 2020 sees the band bringing their formidable live show to Portals festival in London as part of Holy Roar’s stage.
Asked about their journey with the band, MODERN RITUALS commented:
The band started with myself (Harry), and after a few months trying to get some members together we had a line up by early 2016. Over the next couple of years we’d experiment with the lineup until Tom (guitar) joined us on second guitar in summer 2018. That’s us now, so no more change (I hope). We’d all been in bands in the past – Rob was in a band called On Histories of Rosenberg (is that spelt right Bob?) and Tom was in a band who named a song after one of Rob’s old band’s songs. Jake had also been involved with a project that recorded in my garage when we were like 16, but I lost touch with him between then and this. I’d been in The Long Haul between 2011 and 2013, and some other bands before that. So we’ve all been fairly active over the years!
We’ve expanded a lot on what we were trying to do on the first album, I think we’ve pushed some things further and tried to experiment with a lot of other stuff too. I’m sick to death of it now, but I think it came out how we wanted it.
I like to experiment with making videos; I’m a big fan of film, it’s fun and creates good opportunities to reach out to friends who want to get involved too. With the video for The Bull Never Wins, my friend Joe Robertshaw and I went down to Frome and found a spot of space we could mess around with without too much bother. We wanted to have this character who lived in a swamp, wore a sheet and sunglasses and had the powers to mess around with this other guy. I’m not sure it’s that obvious.
For the other video, I had a Beaker doll and this rat toy that have just always sat together over the years – as if they were friends. I wanted the song to be about their relationship, so I sewed their limbs and mouths and tails up so I could make them like puppets. Beaker sings the song to the rat. I also wanted the music to be on street performance instruments with blind players, hence the sax and accordion with the sunglasses.
MODERN RITUALS in 2020
Our album is out March 20th and we’ll be playing a release show on March 28th at New River Studios in London. Then we’re touring it properly in May which is being announced soon. We’re going to try out recording an EP entirely remotely, so I’ll do my stuff from Bristol, send it over and everyone can whack their parts down. I think there’ll probably be other collaborators on it too, but we’re yet to see. I think trying this process out will enable us to experiment more with what we’re sticking on it, so it’ll definitely be new to us, which is kind of what we want the most.
Bristol and London post hardcore / alt scene
I live in Bristol and the scene here is great. I don’t know what to categorize, but there’s lots of great stuff going around. There’s local shows all the time and loads of good people going to them, so lots of familiar faces.