NEWS: Okay Champ Debut EP | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Wolfgang Paradisio

Since quietly sneaking up from nowhere at the end of February with the release of their debut track Ticket (which we covered here, Okay Champ have since been the band on any self-respecting alt/radge/noise fan’s lips. They’ve now released their debut EP, I Don’t Like This Anymore, as a pay what you like download, and alongside Ticket it features three more delectable slices of dissonance.

Featuring former Nately’s Whore’s Kid Sister members John Edgar and Stuart Walkinshaw, Eat Fast and former Let’s Buy Happiness members Mark Brown and James King (Edgar is also a member of Eat Fast), and David Turnbull who has previously played with Mass, Your Codenameis:milo and Obi Got Ludo, it’s safe to say this bunch know a thing or two about making a racket.

Opener Keen Admirer demonstrates the same jittery sense of paranoia already debuted by Ticket but with even darker, more menacing undertones: if it were a film it would contain a ‘mild peril’ warning, such is its chugging sense of impending doom. Edgar’s reverb-drenched vocals are snotty and knowing, like some in-joke we’re not part of.

Babe is darker still; an almost seven minute long slow-burner which simmers before exploding into a droning chorus, lurching back and forth between quiet and cacophony.

While the whole EP is a noise-pop masterpiece, it’s final track Pet that is the pièce de résistance here. Fans of Nately’s Whore’s Kid Sister will positively salivate at this sludgy, doom-inflected epic. Lethargic, heavy percussion marches the track slowly onwards, building into a climax of riffs before falling back into muddy depths. If you do one thing today, make sure you listen to I Don’t Like This Anymore and wallow in its glorious misery.

We had a quick chat with guitarist and vocalist John Edgar about the EP and Okay Champ’s influences…

How was the writing process for the EP?
I wrote the skeletons of the songs and the others made their parts much better. I’m by the far the worst musician of the lot of us, so I just said, ‘please make that better’. Dave excels at that! Writing it took hardly any time. Convincing myself that it was any good took aaages! I’m still trying to do that. Mark Brown helps. His incessant, revolting optimism has its upsides. 

Where/who did you record with?
We did it at Blank with Chris. He’s a lovely lad. Two days. Bosh.

What are the main influences behind the EP? 
Mortality, guilt, valium, Alessandro Cortini, tahini (straight), Ben Frost, The Northumberland Hussar, David Turnbull.

What about the lyrics, any influences while writing?
Same as above plus deep-fat fryers and dead animals.

Why should people listen to the EP?
Because I want everyone to feel utterly miserable.

Any plans in the works for future releases?
Oh yes.

Okay Champ’s debut EP is out now.

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