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SCREW unleashing the noise rockish post hardcore fury of “Near Automata”

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Bristol’s underground scene welcomes a powerful new entry with SCREW, a noise rock / post-hardcore band ready to mess with your brains with their debut EP, “Near Automata,” through Hollow Life Records. Influenced by heavyweights like CONVERGE, early TOUCHÉ AMORE, and SHELLAC, SCREW presents a compelling blend of melancholic noise and gut-wrenching, often abrasive post-hardcore. And I guarantee that what you hear will not directly correspond to the associations your brain generated upon reading those names.

“Tom Reed and I started floating the idea of doing a heavy band together somewhere around Christmas 2023,” vocalist James Stelzer shares. “We’ve known each other for around 10-15 years, having met through a Facebook group for the Gill and Beez Metal Hammer podcast in our mid-teens, and we’ve been good friends for a long time. It wasn’t until I moved to Bristol around 18 months ago that we really got the chance to hang out more often.”

The partnership between the members of SCREW began to take shape in August 2023, when Tom filled in on guitar for James’ old band, DIAMOND TESTING, opening for Tom’s other band, CHERRY CHAIN. The chemistry was undeniable, prompting them to collaborate more regularly. “When Tom asked me to sing on a noise rock project and showed me the demos that he was working on for what became SCREW, I jumped at the chance,” the vocalist recalls.

Screw (shot in the basement under James’s flat by Lee Palmer-Jarrett)
Screw (shot in the basement under James’s flat by Lee Palmer-Jarrett)

Tom’s instrumental writing for ‘Near Automata‘ came together rapidly in February, crafted over eight days with influences from SLINT and THE JESUS LIZARD. The recording process was a homegrown effort, with the majority of the drums created using Logic Drummer and Ugritone MIDI packs. The guitars were recorded using Amplitube 5 amp sims, and synth plugins by Bristol-based studio Slate + Ash added depth to the sound. Vocals were laid down in several sessions at Pirate Studios, with the lyrical content taking inspiration from the game NieR: Automata and bands like TOUCHÉ AMORE and CONVERGE.

Tom and George Turner during a mixing session for ‘[Ending C] at George’s house in March 2024
Tom and George Turner during a mixing session for ‘[Ending C] at George’s house in March 2024
“One of the things we are most pleased with about ‘Near Automata‘ is that everything surrounding the record was created within our little community of artists in Bristol,” the band states. The artwork and music video for ‘[Ending C]’ were produced by Tom’s CHERRY CHAIN bandmates Charlie Sherratt and Poppy Lomax respectively, and the record was mixed and mastered by their friend George Turner of SUN SPOT.

Hollow Life Records, run by Dan Melizan of PERP WALK, will release the EP online, marking a true team effort.

‘Near Automata’ delivers a raw, experimental, at times almost unbearable sound that pushes the boundaries of noise rock and post-hardcore. Listen right here and grab a copy via Hollow Life Records.

Karol Kamiński

DIY rock music enthusiast and web-zine publisher from Warsaw, Poland. Supporting DIY ethics, local artists and promoting hardcore punk, rock, post rock and alternative music of all kinds via IDIOTEQ online channels.
Contact via [email protected]

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