South London based, Crushed Beaks, are a definitely a band to watch. Just this week, their sophomore record, The Other Room, was made Album of the Day on BBC 6 Music – which caught the attention of Ride guitarist, Andy Bell, who Tweeted, ‘love the sound of Crushed Beaks’.
The LP – which was recorded in Leeds with Eagulls’ producer, Matt Peel – has an abrasive, outer shell, but a heart that thumps defiantly in the face of the state of the world right now. If you want to catch the band’s ferocious live show, they’re on tour in October, including a show at Manchester’s The Castle Hotel.
Having just released the record, we caught up with vocalist, and chief songwriter, Matt Poile, to find out what influences may have seeped into the record. These are his Sound and Vision picks:
Three albums I absolutely love:
Future Days by Can
My uncle gave me a big box of records when I was about 17 and this was in it. Among all the Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix in there, he pointed me towards Can, who I hadn’t heard of before. Future Days was the first one I put on and I was hooked. The music has a weird kind of watery, intangible quality to it. It draws you in with fluid, dreamy melodies and then completely goes off on one. I must have listened to it hundreds of times and I still always hear something new that I hadn’t noticed before.
Deceit by This Heat
This Heat were hands down one of the most inventive bands ever and Deceit, released in 1981, is their masterpiece and one of my favourite records. It balances paranoia and social criticism with vulnerability and a sharp sense of humour. They threw the rulebook out of the window for this one – the songs don’t follow conventional structures but they all fit together with their own internal logic, and Charles Hayward’s drumming is relentlessly creative. Even at its most abrasive, Deceit always feels human. I was lucky enough to see a reunion show at the Barbican, when they briefly reformed as This Is Not This Heat.
Treasure by Cocteau Twins
This was the first album by the Cocteau Twins that I listened to and it’s still my favourite. Elizabeth Fraser’s voice is completely magical. I have absolutely no idea what she’s singing about but it’s so expressive that the message gets through somehow.
A film that has stuck with me:
Zombie Flesh Eaters (also known as Zombi 2)
What can I say? A high-water mark for cinema. It’s got loads of zombies wreaking havoc on a tropical island and some of the most ridiculous set-pieces ever captured on film, including an underwater fight between a zombie and a shark. Fabio Frizzi, who wrote the soundtrack, let us use his studio in Rome to record our first album.
A book that’s left an impression:
Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood
I read quite a lot of sci-fi, but I read this recently and it stood out for me. It’s a dystopian vision of things gone very wrong, but it’s also very funny.
A song that’s just perfect:
Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush
Everything about this song is perfect. The huge drums, that synth, Kate’s voice.