Thought Crimes by GlitchersRelease date: March 12, 2021
I don’t know which month, or number, or lockdown it was but at some point in 2020 I caught a video on twitter of a two piece band playing on the streets of Sheffield. The short clip builds to the explosive moment when singer and guitarist Jake launches a mic stand, with attached megaphone, through the air before kneeling at the foot of the nearby amp and crunches out a tremendous riff.
As the stand returns to earth a disinterested pensioner shuffles past while Sophie is beating the life out of the drums. Whilst enjoying that ripping guitar sound it did fill me with mixed emotions, it was great seeing Glitchers getting off and loving live music but it also reminded me of how much I missed it. The band raged from the streets, including a performance at Downing Street, to a home studio and emerged with Thought Crimes which is a great slab of urgent, angered hardcore skiffle punk.
The six tracks here are far from sloganeering three chord punk songs and, in agreement with many other opinions I have seen, musically Glitchers hit in the same way as artists like Everytime I Die. There is a sense of urgency carried on waves of memorable riffs, superbly crafted chord progressions and spade loads of groove.
Straight off the bat ‘Keep Calm’ delves into the issues of the climate emergency and the lack of action which leaves people feeling powerless with a choice of trying to “keep calm or get fucked”. Other subjects touched on lyrically include abusive relationships, sex and violence, mass media and fear; which is far deeper than your average punk record which is the point, this isn’t an average punk record.
Largely recorded at home, produced on second hand CDs and with merch printed on second hand clothes Glitchers don’t just talk the talk. The highlight for me, and also the track that finally sparked the police into closing down their Downing Street gig, is closing track ‘Fuck The Tories’. Not only does it have an extremely chantable chorus which even the drum beat seems to scream but the song shapeshifts a number of times from the chant to a vicious verse before again changing for the all important closure. The band announces “Now when we say fuck the Tories, We don’t mean it literally, Don’t fuck a tory” as they sail down another memorable chorus and riff.
The frustration and anger is palpable throughout the whole EP and the passion that is shown on the streets has been perfectly captured here. For so long I have been waiting for Rage Against The Machine or System of a Down to burst out of their mansions to unite the masses but Glitchers has shown so much more impetus. Within this EP Glitchers display exemplary playing skills, beautiful recording sounds, DIY ethics, intelligence and humour. Thought Crimes is a great reminder that we need to look harder for the passion and ideas that the bands of our own generation perhaps outgrew with their popularity, stagnation and wealth.