Norfolk synth-doom duo Kulk released their new album We Spare Nothing this year, a record which moved Joyzine writer Jess Milner to exclaim “Kulk are like Deerhoof in the early days, with some of the power of Amebix thrown in for good measure… They are saving the future one lyric at a time by focusing on the problems we have in our society today,” (read the full review here).
We caught up with Thom Longdin (Guitar and Vocals) and Jade-Ashleigh Squires (Drums and Synth) for a track by track guide to the record.
Jade: Shuck is a big part of East Anglian folklore. ‘Shuck’ is our tribute to the many weirdos like us who use it as a muse. It’s inspired by the hauntings and sightings of the black dog that fill many with aspects of the hidden landscape which I feel is embedded in the track through synth introduction. I really wanted to encapsulate this in video form for this track and we visited many Shuck related locations to film the music video with a very dodgy camera rig.
Fogetting Is Your Blessing
Thom: This was the first track of We Spare Nothing to be written, we could never really finish it so we’d just add more and more. When it came to the time of recording its length was sealed forever. Most of the tracks’ lengths are determined this way but when we played live the improvisation is gauged by the vibe in the venue. This is an incredibly personal track for me so it never fails to help me find pure rage on stage, who knows if that’s actually healthy.
Thom: This was the first of the in studio jams where the synth was controlled by an envelope follower off the kick. In all honesty the track was made from the out takes of ‘Day Old Kebab’, it was Jade figuring out what she’d play. When it was ready for vocals I improvised the track based off the experience of recently starting antidepressants and them almost making me shit myself.
Jade: I can vouch for that.
Day Old Kebab
Thom: This track was the second jam, we had gotten an idea of what Jade should play to trigger the synth and so me and Wayne (from Bear Bites Horse Studio) fiddled with the synth until we got this. Jade came in that day with the kebab from the night before and nuked it in the microwave releasing a donna scented vape cloud into my eyes, nose and mouth.
Jade: It was delicious and I stand by that it is safe to eat the next day, despite Thom’s reaction but I am sorry to Wayne for the state of his microwave.
Lives For One
Jade: This is the biggest, most doomy track of the record inspired by The Melvins‘ tuning. We tried to keep it very us without going full weed wizard bong riff. It’s definitely grandiose so it had to have class solidarity lyrics to match the sheer weight of the riff coming down. For this track we really wanted a big build up and for it to keep getting heavier and heavier with each section. This was mostly for the drums and I always build up from the ride bell onto smashing the shit out of the crash. Big heavy drums for me has always been inspired by Dale Crover with big tom fills.
My Old Man
Jade: This has some of the heaviest riffs we’d worked on for a while so it just had to be on the record. It’s wonky and weird so we love it. It has always been part of our sound bringing it down to then throw you back in the deep end.
Thom: We wanted the record to have something synth led. Normally everything we record is guitar led so we tried to mix that up on this record. I’ve learned that it’s not always the best advice to not care what others think of you, the guitar can’t be lead on everything and sometimes you are the dick.
Jade: This is the only track I play with a hi hat (two crashes put together).
Kill Your Local Rapist
Thom: No drums because why not. We were going with twee. Like a full stack and synth on your porch in the American south. As for the lyrics it’s fairly self explanatory, it makes you sick that everyone knows one and they’re always there walking on the same street as you. A pretty bleak thought.
We Spare Nothing is out now on Hominid Sounds. Order via Bandcamp.
Introduction by Paul Maps