Bristol ‘jank-pop’ group Belishas return with ‘The Crash’; an exhilarating blast of angular guitars that jerks its way through three distinct sections in a flash.
Having last released music in 2021 with a duo of singles in ‘Brother’ and ‘Whispers, ‘The Crash’ shows Belishas exploring a new-found sense of freedom in their songwriting, stating that they desired to approach their creative process in a more spontaneous fashion and playing off the musical relationships the band have nurtured since meeting at secondary school.
Bridging the gap between their mutual love of 70s art-punk like Devo and Television alongside a range of contemporary influences such as Iceage and Cate Le Bon, the track showcases a distinct development in sound from the band’s earlier singles and explores ideas surrounding the mundanity of working life and coming to accept the fact you might be stuck in your job forever.
Recorded live with the assistance of Jack Ogborne (Bingo Fury) in the basement of legendary Bristol venue The Louisiana, the small and cold space was able to amplify the anxiety that lurches underneath the track.
Speaking about the arc of the song’s phases, vocalist Ewan Ferguson said; “The song is about a sudden realisation of change in life and the reluctance to allow that change. The first stage is the realisation made by the character, the second stage is them looking back and reflecting on what they’ve done with their life until now, and the third stage looks at the vulnerability and change within them that is expressed through the reluctant acceptance of the situation”.
The song is also accompanied by a video which was shot, directed and animated by the band themselves at Knowle Constitutional Club in South Bristol. Watch here via YouTube.
Having begun to take the project seriously and established themselves in their current form in 2019, Belishas have garnered a strong reputation in their home city, having performed earlier this year at Dot To Dot Festival and Bristol Sounds, and have also recently shared stages with the likes of The Last Dinner Party, Panic Shack and Silverbacks in both Bristol and London.
Belishas are Ewan Ferguson (vocals, guitar), Euan McCaughan (drums), Alex Garbutt (guitar) and Isaac Green (bass).
Bristol’s new jank-pop band tread a grey area between fragile melancholy and visceral lament. Belishas is a project based on duality. Since 2019 the group have morphed through many stages and interpretations of itself, landing upon a mixture of scratchy alt rock and modern left field influences. Over 2023 Belishas have gone through a series of stylistic renovations. This new artistic direction has resulted in a fresh manifesto regarding their approach to writing. Their most recent creation - The Crash (release 15th Sept 2023), twists morbidly through exchanging thought processes, landing on the sudden realisation of loss, grief and the reluctant acceptance of change.
Finding influences scattered across the second half of the 20th century, Belishas sound has developed into an eclectic mix. Ranging from the sandpaper guitars of The Velvet Underground, through to the gloom of early Cure albums and into more contemporary examples such as Iceage and Cate Le Bon.
Vocalist Ewan Fergusons lyrics confront his own reality, documenting personal perceptions of everyday life based around various life changing scenarios.
Over recent years Belishas have been championed by the likes of Steve Lamacq, James Threfall and IDLES, being played frequently on BBC Radio 6 Music.
In the past, Belishas have shared the stage with talents such as Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard, Workfriends, Panic Shack, The Last Dinner Party, Calva Louise, October Drift and Brix and the Extricated (ex fall). Recently, Belishas opened the SWX Stage at Dot To Dot Bristol 2023 as well as supporting The Levellers at Bristol Sounds Festival.