Lay Siege certainly score highly when it comes to balls-out brutality, but their disinterest in pledging allegiance to any subgenre or scene serves them extremely well on debut album hopeisnowhere. With shades of everything from atmospheric post-metal through to flayed-knuckle hardcore, their riff-driven onslaught marks them out as the UK scene’s most potent awkward squad.
“The truth is that there aren’t many bands or albums that we all agree on!” laughs vocalist Carl Brown. “I come from a much heavier background – my last band was death metal, and I’m really into Pantera and Slayer, but [bassist] Dave’s favourite band is Interpol, [guitarist] Jay’s biggest band is Deftones and [drummer] Lewis loves Opeth and modern metalcore. When I joined, the sound was a bit more hardcore but we decided that wouldn’t work with my vocals, so it’s just evolved in this direction. We avoid clichés. We won’t shove in a breakdown for the sake of it.”
While standing apart from the aspiring UK metal hordes on a musical level, Lay Siege are by no means isolationists when it comes to their lyrical approach. The new album’s ambiguous title (is it ‘Hope is nowhere’ or ‘Hope is now here’?) indicates a more mature and inclusive worldview than many metalheads.
“We had the title in mind a long time ago, so we wrote some stuff that was hopeful and other stuff that was more depressive and atmospheric,” explains Carl. “The title is a cool experiment. Most people say, ‘Hope is nowhere’, which reflects the current state of things. All we’ve ever known is war and recession, so there’s a lot to be pissed off about!”
With plans to hit the road hard throughout 2015, Lay Siege have the determination to capitalise on their idiosyncratic approach. “We’re in a Catch-22 situation,” Carl says. “You need to be part of a scene to get recognised, but you’re always striving to be your own entity. I don’t think we fit anywhere specific, but we’re game for anything!”
HOPEISNOWHERE IS OUT NOW VIA LIFEFORCE