It's a safe bet that Nasty Little Lonely didn't come together with commercial superstardom in mind.
The Bristol trio deal in the dark stuff, spitting out unsettling, nightmarish visions of a dystopian, disintegrating Britain, where the next threat of disorder is only ever a breath away. Bands don’t really sound like this anymore: in the early ‘90s one might have bracketed Nasty Little Lonely with early Therapy? and Ministry and The Jesus Lizard and Babes in Toyland - artists who leave filthy, sticky trails on your frontal lobes as they dissect and excoriate society’s blackest impulses - but such unpleasantness has largely been lost in the eager-to-please modern rock scene. Credit then to Nasty Little Lonely for their uncompromising intransigence.
Bad Jack & other stories is a slim volume of work, comprised of just four songs, but it’s a powerful and affecting piece of art. Lo-fi, sludgy and distorted, the four songs here are slathered in overloaded FX, and random shards of atonal white noise, contrasting harshly with frontwoman Charlie B’s layered, little-girl-lost-in-the-echo-chamber vocals. Never an easy listen, the likes of Blood on the Floor and Machinery lurch and lunge from the darkness with Hell-ish intensity, seeking to drag one into the quagmire. Exactly what sinister horrors Ms B is singing about isn’t immediately clear, but the dread that permeates through each verse and chorus is palpable, and her melodies will be reverberating inside your head long after the tracks have ground to a close.
Those looking for rock’s next big thing need not be detained here: this isn’t a band shooting at the stars but rather one wallowing in the gutter. Such an approach is commendable, and there’s a purity in Nasty Little Lonely’s impurity that is to be admired. If you like your rock discordant, harsh and uncompromising, Bad Jack… is a well worth investigation. If not, well, there’ll be a new Paramore album along before too long we imagine…