Reviews

Inca Babies


Post-punk swamp-goth rockers Inca Babies present ‘I’m Grounded’, the latest single from their eighth studio album ‘Swamp Street Soul’.

Inca Babies is Harry Stafford (guitar, keys, vocals), bassist Vince Hunt (A Witness, Blue Orchids) and Rob Haynes (The Membranes, Goldblade) on drums and percussion. This collection of new tunes, drawn from their fantastic imagination, offers a hefty dose of the gritty sound that the Manchester-based deathrock / postpunk outfit have become known for over the decades since forming in 1983.

“This deal with the last few years as a reflection of geographical inactivity for someone who gets around and travels a lot the time of being;  ‘square wheeled on the deck’, was particularly arduous. But it’s not just a ‘lockdown’ song, it was actually written before all the pandemic’s constraints kicked in. It began as a muse on being in a particularly hopeless state of limbo – which of course exacerbated itself once we were stuck at home watching the clock and trying to be creative,” says Harry Stafford.

“‘I’m Grounded, I’m square wheeled on the deck, I’m grounded, my zeppelin’s a wreck’... The video spans the time at home as the seasons pass and our situation seems unlikely to improve… but appears to offer an understanding of who we are once we are placed outside of the impediments of work and have to face the habitual skirmish for survival as the calendar changes and the pages fall off.”

Produced by Simon ‘Ding’ Archer (The Fall, PJ Harvey) at 6Db Studios, the clarity and fullness of sound on this 11-track offering surpasses that of any previous Inca release.

This is the first album in seven years, when the final release of their Death Blues Trilogy ‘The Stereo Plan’ was released in 2014, following ‘Death Message Blues’ (2010) and ‘Deep Dark Blue’ (2012).

‘Swamp Street Soul’ takes us across a tightly euphoric path of differing moods and new arenas of guitar songwriting. This LP continues the band’s explosive exploration of goth-punk and death-rock and trash blues with epic cautionary ballads. Frontman Harry Stafford has written a fulsome collection of tall tales of madness, fearfully larger-than-life characters and extravagant yarns, backed by a no-nonsense rhythm section locked into a pounding backbeat.

Ahead of the album, the band also released the high octane overdrive single ‘Crawling Garage Gasoline’ (along with b-side ‘Grunt Cadillac Hotel’ and lead track ‘Walk In The Park’ with a strutting blues beat, infectious guitar lick and bluesy post-punk musings.

A vibrant part of Britain’s early postpunk / death rock scene, Inca Babies’ story began in 1983 in the now-legendary deck-access flats of Hulme (Manchester), which were intended as ‘cities in the sky’ for young executives but quickly became cockroach-infested slums mostly inhabited by students, artists, and drug addicts. True to DIY ethos, they self-released their debut single ‘Interior’ in 1984.

With a further six singles and four albums over five years, all of which entered the UK Indie Charts, they also recorded four sessions for BBC’s John Peel show in 1984-1988 before calling it quits. Since reforming in 2007, they’ve released three albums and toured extensively around Europe, including Russia, as well as North America and India. Renewed interest in the Incas was propelled by Cherry Red Records ‘Best Of’ compilation release ‘Inca Babies 1983-87: Plutonium’.

The ‘Swamp Street Soul’ album is out now, available digitally everywhere, including SpotifyApple Music and Bandcamp, where it can be ordered directly from the band. It can also be obtained via the Louder Than War shop.

CREDITS
Harry Stafford – guitar, vocals
Vince Hunt – bass
Rob Haynes – drums
Kevin Davy – trumpet  
Black Lagoon Records catalogue #BLRCD0058
Photography by Steve Nicholl

TRACK LIST
1. Swamp Street Soul
2. Walk in the Park
3. Slingshot
4. Dear English Journalists
5. Crawling Garage Gasoline
6. Bigger than all of us
7. I’m Grounded
8. Oh, the Angels how I bless them
9. Windshield Gnat
10. Mine of Bones
11. Swamp Soul Dub

Inca Babies – I’m Grounded

Harry Stafford – An Introduction to ‘Swamp Street Soul’ by Inca Babies

Inca Babies – Crawling Garage Gasoline

Inca Babies – Walk In The Park

Inca Babies – Still Mountain

Inca Babies links:
Band/Artist location – Manchester, UK
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