Home is where the heart is.
In the wake of Brexit back in June of 2016, many U.K. (and international) artists expressed fear for where the country might head politically; lamenting a fractured national identity for many citizens, as well as a new-breeding ground for potential further violence and bigotry to brew. During a November 2016 interview with NME, Enter Shikari’s Rou Reynolds concluded that with Brexit, Trump’s election, the National Front in France, the Golden Dawn in Greece, and with other far-right movements on the rise, that it’s “a very strange and a very frightening time.” Well, to say the very least.
Going off of their huge new single and well-composed music video, ‘Home‘ – directed by the ever-talented Lewis Cater (WSTR, Neck Deep) – Brighton-based heavy outfit Black Peaks express the same worries and pains of what’s happened to their homeland. Beyond the solid music and dynamic contrast of heavy and melodic elements, if the lyrics of “Home/So we called and left behind/To the vultures and their minds/Scavenge pieces as it died” weren’t telling enough for you, then the film clip for ‘Home‘ says it all. In these visuals, we see a man’s possessions and home furniture being repossessed; he’s poor and over-tired; British housing units are framed as cold, empty and ominous; our protagonist sees a stranger being beaten in the streets yet does nothing; and he’s confronted by protesters calling for unity, reform and change. Despite the slick shots, there’s just this thick gloom draped over the video.
To some, perhaps these visuals (and the song) will seem like a cry for someone searching for solace in where they are physically and emotionally, or some other such wankey bollocks. Yet I feel that the impact Brexit and similar events have had over Black Peaks‘ four members is carved out clearly in this powerful new track; one that skirts through melodic hardcore, metalcore, super-charged post-metal, and arena rock heights. Movements which are all guided by a staggeringly impressive vocal range from their frontman and moustache-extraordinaire, Will Gardner.
Speaking of, the Black Peaks frontman more or less confirmed the impact that Brexit’s fallout had on himself and his three bandmates while they were touring outside of the U.K. when it all went down, saying that:
“We were writing the song against the backdrop of a lot of uncertainty with regards to personal and political identity. We were out on tour in Mainland Europe in mid-2016, during a period where we as British Citizens felt like decisions being made on behalf of our ‘Home’ did not represent us. There is an uneasy feeling of severance that happens when you are not physically at home during a time of transformation. Our feelings of disconnection and division from our country and it’s people, coupled with tour-fatigue and cabin fever, made for some of the most difficult times we have experienced, as a band, as friends, and as people”.
Gardner also expanded on the theme of their second LP, ‘All That Divides‘ (out October 5th via Rise Records/BMG), that this record would represent a future where people’s freedom are controlled and restricted, explaining:
“Over the last two years, we as a band have been incredibly lucky to have been able to travel accross Europe and play our music. The fact this happened to take place during a period where various political changes, at home and abroad, made us focus a lot about the freedom and right to travel. We have seen people, families, relationships and countries divided by conflict and political upheaval, and our reaction to this is a core lyrical theme running through the album”.
While their previous single, ‘Can’t Sleep‘ wasn’t too shabby, ‘Home‘ has me fully hooked, making me very excited about what this U.K. group might bring to the table in 2018. Listen and watch:
‘All That Divides’ track-listing:
1. Can’t Sleep
2. The Midnight Sun
3. Electric Fires
5. Across the Great Divide
7. Eternal Light
8. Slow Seas
9. Fate I & II