Regressive Left sign to Bad Vibrations + share new single "Bad Faith"
Words by Scott Curtis
Having become a hotly tipped band after their earlier releases Regressive Left return with a new track and video “Bad Faith” a moody but joyfully replayable dancefloor treat in the run up to the release of their debut EP “On The Wrong Side of History” (out July 15th). It moves the band further into the pop realm but in the most invigorating way.
Being an avid follower of their formative bands Lupo and Blisseyes, both of which I highly recommend listening to if their presence online hasn’t been expunged for all eternity, I always had faith that despite this trio’s demure appearance that their captivating sound would find them success, and that certainly seems to be the case. Having recently signed to Bad Vibrations, the very same people who have essentially molded the current live music scene, the band almost seemed destined for greatness and fortunately it is one of those rare examples where they actually have the talent, charisma and tunes to stand up against the hype.
Whether that be the hypnotically, heart stopping “Cream Militia” or the tensely techno “Eternal Returns” frontman Simon Tyrie, drummer Georgia Hardy , and guitarist Will Crosby have all proven themselves to possess a technical ability and understanding of music that makes the term “leagues above others” never seem quite superlative enough. This innate talent is highly evident on the new release.
Musically, all the regulars of modern British post-punk are present amongst their influences, you know who they are, but Regressive Left move into further regions of dance and funk. A welcome addition to a dominating sound that is slowly beginning to feel more of a cliche as of late. There is also a nod to some more populist tastes of the early noughties, dare I say even a bit of early Calvin Harris? This track wouldn’t be out of place at your next house party or club outing. I’ll certainly be playing it at my next one.
That isn’t to say that the group's output isn’t without thematic depth, think of them more as the intellectual’s Confidence Man or more well read LCD Soundsystem. Teaming up with Valentine Caulfield, vocalist of the experimental Manchester based combo Mandy, Indiana, provides the main vocal refrain “Je sais bien, mais quand même.” a term derived from French psychoanalyst Octave Mannoni which translates to “ I know very well, but even so…”. As Tyrie explains, the use of this phrase reflects upon modern discourse where it seems we are :..deliberately the worst of someone or something they’ve said or done. Social media has really amplified this trend: everyone has to have a take. So we read between the lines and make wild accusations on the faintest of evidence. It’s something of an art, but one that I think is ultimately detrimental to society.” Maintaining the native tongue for the idiom also helps to further this deliberate miscommunication that is being alluded to as it is on the audience to either just accept as some quirk to the song or to actually try to do their own translating and investing its origin to a gain a deeper understanding of the song. A somewhat similar trick to that of The Talking Heads on “Psycho Killer” where an unhinged psychopath loses their ability to communicate clearly and slips into another tongue.
The video further casts Tyrie in the guise of a David Byrne-esque frontman that his voice recalls. His actions call to mind the same kind of religious preachers that Byrne was mimicking in the seminal “Once in a Lifetime '' video. We are being talked at rather than having a discussion. This along with the video’s lighting and staging mirror the theme of “Bad Faith’s” lyrics. We, the viewer, are forced to choose which image we focus on, the person in front of us or the dark imposing shadow that they cast? An ever more relevant message as we still try to rebuild connections with one another since the end of lockdown.
Listen to Regressive Left here
Catch Regressive Left live at:
27 London - Wide Awake
11 Bristol - Strange Brew
18 The Hague - Grauzone (NL)
26 Birmingham - Hare & Hounds
28 Glasgow - Hug & Pint
30 Manchester - YES
2 Bedford - Esquires
4 Brighton - Prince Albert
6 Margate - Elsewhere
Keep up to date with Hideous Mink Records