Noisy, beardy, hostile, collectively tall – these are the words often used to describe the Yorkshire riffmonsters ((RSJ)), and their latest album Giant Glenn is their most intense and raw record to date. But sometimes it’s best to let the music do the talking, so we’re exclusively streaming the album in full right now!
And to provide you with a deeper insight into the savagery on display, vocalist Dan Cook gives us a track-by-track breakdown of RSJ’s new full-length.
“The opener, title track and tone setter for the rest of the album. We wanted this to hit you in the face like a tonne of bricks and starts with the opening lyrics ‘I’ll wake this place from silence, force feed this message to you’. It’s slow, crunchy, and dirty. We’re little guys in the metal world but we’re making a big noise and we’re gonna make sure we are heard.”
Fuck Off Joe
“This is our tribute to our hardcore roots, influenced by the glory days of Biohazard, Turmoil and early Vision Of Disorder. It’s our punk song and finishes with the repeating chant ‘I’ll live my life my way, fuck you’. It’s about us and how we have always done our own thing, never copied the latest trends, we do what we do and we will always be true to ourselves. We got all the bands, producers and anyone else who was in the studio to finish off with a gang vocal, typical of the unity of the good old days of the hardcore metal scene.”
Right Turn Clyde
“This is a very aggressive song with a very grungy rock ‘n’ roll influence that comes from our love of bands like Nirvana and The Chariot. The lyrics were heavily influenced by an ex-manager who very nearly destroyed the band through bullshit, lies, and false promises. Fortunately we were one of the lucky ones that came through it.”
“A short, fast-paced tune. It’s about the trust you put in people but they let you down and make you feel worthless. Olly Simmons from The Qemists popped in to the studio to see us while we were in Brighton recording. He’s a good friend of ours and we love his voice – he has an incredible talent to harmonise. We planned the track to go into a powerful vocal chorus at the end and Olly fitted the bill perfectly. We asked him if he wanted to sing on the album and he certainly took the track to another level.”
“We love playing with different textures and emotions within our music and always like to throw a curveball or two. This was something that was written on the spot by [guitarists] Guff Thomas and Dan Kentley at the end of a long day in the studio. It was late at night, we were all out for the count in bed, and Guff and Dan laid this down in one take. The atmosphere of the track put across how we would feel after each day recording live.”
Hit The Road Jack
“This track is about how sometimes you just can’t let go of things. You want to give it all up and just say fuck it, ‘cause it’s so hard and so time-consuming, but at the end of the day, deep down inside, you can’t. It lives in you, it breathes in you, and you want to make it work no matter how much it rips you apart. John and the guys from Raging Speedhorn have been really good friends of ours since they started up back in early 2000. They were, and still are, a big influence on ((RSJ)). I always wanted to get John to do a song with us – his low vocals are like no other. The minute this song was written I knew it would fit perfectly to the dual-vocal style, and I knew John was the man. I sent him a message and the rest was history. We took the recording gear to Corby and he nailed it. It’s great to have him on the album; it was a long time coming but well worth the wait.”
“This track is heavily influenced by our love of Converge and Norma Jean. Lyrically, it’s about finding that person that you have an immense love for but you don’t always see eye to eye, but the constant battling brings you closer together and stronger than ever. Musically we have always loved playing around with timings and breaks. The song starts fast and full-on but we wanted the end to be odd and build into an atmospheric, confused monster. It sometimes takes time to get our heads around some of the weird off-time stops and starts we love writing, but at the same time it’s also something that also comes quite naturally to us as a band.”
“Again we love to add an interlude or two. I’m not too sure how it came about but we somehow heard the opening track, Giant Glenn, backwards when we were recording the demos and it sounded so awesome that we had to have it on the album. There was always a big debate about putting some sort of speech over it and then we heard Joan Jett’s speech when she was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and everything she said struck a chord with us. It fit the track perfectly and was the perfect message we wanted to get across. Rock ‘n’ roll should always be real, it’s about being yourself and fighting for what you believe in, no matter how hard it may seem. That’s why we wanted this album to be recorded live in the studio, so it felt real and powerful with real emotions and less like the mechanical recordings of today where bands barely see each other throughout the recording process.”
For Pete’s Sake
“This track was probably the first we wrote after the release of Higgs Boson. It was quite different to Higgs and started the ball rolling for Giant Glenn. We’ve always written in odd time signatures and I guess this track has a very heavy Meshuggah influence without copying the djent style that most bands fall into. It’s a short, nasty track with a thumping end. Lyrically it sums up how you can get caught up in things and then you realise you have become something you never ever wanted to be without even realising it, and you’re left with nothing.”
Play It Again Sam
“This song was always going to be the last one on the album, and took many different forms during recording. We always like a big, epic, atmospheric ending and it just happened when writing this track. Lyrically it’s a song about the trials and tribulations of love and the rollercoaster ride of it all. Vocally we really wanted to try something different and have something that keeps building until it leaves you gasping for breath. It’s a very emotional song lyrically and it builds up into a chant that leaves no room to breathe before bringing you back down, sinking into a dark, depressing, repeating guitar sequence.”
((RSJ))’s new album Giant Glenn is out now.