There are a new breed of bands who are blurring the boundaries between post-rock, prog and the brute-force of post-hardcore. Its lineage can be traced back, perhaps, to Mastodon’s 2002 debut, ‘Remission’ and the Atlanta foursome’s sprawling ideas have trickled down, in part, to the East Sussex coast.
Meet Brighton’s Black Peaks. The quartet began life as Shrine and released their first EP last year, before adopting their new, foreboding moniker in the autumn. Two songs on that release – namely Say You Will and Closer To The Sun – were a perfect marriage of intricate, interweaving guitar lines, a gut punch of downtuned riffs and soaring vocals. Excitingly, their new single, Glass Built Castles hints at the band storming into even bolder musical territory.
“I think we’ve grown up a lot since the EP release and there’s been a big development in our song writing,” says frontman Will Gardner. “There’s a hell of a lot of really progressive stuff on the album. We’ve done some mega heavy tracks, like really disgusting songs, and it’s really satisfying! It sounds a lot more developed and I think we’ve pushed ourselves as individuals.”
The band – completed by guitarist Joe Gosney, bassist Andrew Gosden, and drummer Liam Kearley – bonded over a mutual, fierce love of music, including The Mars Volta, Tool, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Mastodon and Devin Townsend’s myriad projects. It shows in their songwriting too; Black Peaks imbue their ambitious ideas with an uncompromising heaviness, resulting in intricate post-rock delivered with wild-eyed fury. Gardner’s lyrics, much like Gosney’s guitar lines, are detailed storylines which will eventually form a narrative thread through their upcoming full-length debut.
“I used to write songs that were based on what had happened to me and it was a bit boring,” explains Will. “When I got a bit older, I’d hear more stories and experienced stuff that influenced what I’d write. The idea behind our single, Glass Built Castles is a culmination of our experiences as a band and ideas which were thrown at us when we toured Spain. We met some really radical people and they had some interesting theories and fascinating stories. That all went into a conceptualised story that ties everything together. Hopefully people will come up with their own ideas of what those songs are about.”
Although the frontman won’t be drawn into giving more detail at this stage, the story is in a similar vein to Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror and his vision of a dystopian future. To listen to Black Peaks is not a simple passive experience; Gardner hopes that their music will evoke the same sensations he felt when listening and watching his heroes Tool.
“To move people with our music is an incredible feeling,” says Gardner. “We’ve been so surprised by the amount of people who’ve enjoyed our music so far. It’s been crazy! It’s that kind of experience when you go and see your favourite band yourself. It was like a euphoric experience when I saw Tool play. So, if we can make other people feel like that, then we’re winning.”
For more information on Black Peaks, check out their official website.