INTERVIEW: Fast Blood | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Hell hath no fury like a punk band scorned. Releasing new music for the first time since 2022’s single Pulling Teeth, Newcastle’s Fast Blood are dropping their debut album Sunny Blunts on 3rd May, and they are angry.

There have been a few iterations of the band over the years but there is now stability. A core four who are pushing themselves to their most ambitious and aggressive selves; railing against personal demons and coping with an ever degrading and disappointing society. Frustration simmering to a fever pitch gave birth to this album. Guitarist Dave Hillier started writing the songs back in the peak bad times of 2020 to prevent himself from going completely insane, channeling his love of 90’s emo/hardcore and break-neck punk to bring a blend of the Descendents, Texas Is The Reason and Samiam to the fore. Of the album, Dave says: “At the risk of sounding like a proper cheese ball, it’s quite a journey. I don’t think one song sounds the same. It’s quite up and down.” And yet, there is a cohesive vision – abrasive, hook-laden, fast punk with a direct lineage to their previous work.

There’s a lot of songs that are angry about things that I cannot change

A prime example of Sunny Blunt’s unbridled rage comes in the form of lead single Sexual Healing – a criticism of societal double standards. “I’m annoyed that I still hear in this day and age the term ‘slut shaming’.” Says singer Abi Barlow. “It just pisses me off, because if women want to have sex with whoever the fuck they want, then they should be able to do that, because men certainly can. There’s a lot of songs that are angry about things that I cannot change, but I can whine about it.”

The last few years have brewed cynicism and hardened Abi to the world, and there is sheer exasperation with the modern world laced throughout the album, such as Small Town, which brings to light the small mindedness that still exists despite how connected we are. “In every small town, there’s always going to be great people with great attitudes and morals but I’ve heard many shitty things about people who’ve never gone anywhere else, they’ve just lived there for a long time, not accepting of anything that’s new or different. I am from a small town and I’m not an arsehole. Well, I’m not an arsehole in that way.”

What Sunny Blunts has been able to capture is a band pushing themselves in every aspect – guitars that blast through a sea of riffs, drums and bass that never let up, and a singer digging deep, pushing past anxiety to deliver guttural screams. Hitting harder and heavier than ever before, the relentlessness and unforgiving nature of Fast Blood’s album is its strength. An album not pulling any punches by a band being exactly who they want to be. Dave sums it up nicely: “As you get older, you just give a shit less. You just don’t give a fuck anymore.”

Fast Blood launch Sunny Blunts at The Cumberland Arms, Newcastle on Sunday 5th May.

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