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Reviews / Zappa-esque creativity

An Explosion of Dirty Rhythm - cover art by Dirk Robertson

WIND-Up Projectiles released their debut EP An Explosion of Dirty Rhythm at Mareel on Saturday.

The energetic quartet – featuring guitarist and vocalist Joe Watt, keys player Chris Thomson, double bassist Hayden Hook and drummer Lewis Murray – hosted a premier of the 6-tracked EP along with an acoustic performance and the unveiling of a new music video that afternoon, followed by a gig with support from Chloe Robertson and Troppo Funk.

The CD was released as part of the HNC course running from Mareel, which saw students establish Battery Park Records and sign Wind-Up Projectiles with the aim of producing an EP.

The album launch itself was another college initiative, being orchestrated by students under the name Renemal Promotions, as well as the founding of Screenhack Media, which created a making-of documentary of the EP, a promotional video and filmed the opening gig.

Marjolein Robertson, a member of youth production company Maddrim Media, was asked by the band to produce a music video for the track Confabulation, which was premièred that afternoon.

“We try to do a whole range of films at Maddrim Media but we’d never done a music video before. Joe said ‘You’ve got complete control of the story line, so just go away and think about it’, which was actually quite scary, because I wanted to come back with something the boys would agree with.”

Dirk Robertson, of online radio show Heavy Metal Buffet, created the artwork for the CD and was on hand to speak about this:

“I figured, ‘I really need to see these guys live to actually start thinking some imagery up in my head.’ So I went and saw them and was like ‘Wow, this has got some real movement,’ it was really exciting, it was colourful and bright. I had to portray that in the artwork.”

Wind-Up Projectiles.

The recording was completed in two parts, with the drums and bass being done at Mareel before shifting to keys player Chris Thomson’s home studio for the guitar, keys and vocals to be recorded.

The EP shows a mastering of sound and identity even at early stages, being able to comfortably morph from hard rock to smooth jazz, ska-infused reggae to swaggering rap. At points, Wind-Up Projectiles sound like they could have come “Straight Outta Compton” were their music not laced with red herrings, Zappa-esque creativity, buzzing talent and Goliath-sized riffs and hooks.

On the night, Chloe Robertson opened the show, displaying singing and creative flair with a collection of her own acoustic songs and covers such as Jolene, all of which received a warm reception.

Troppo Funk boosted the energy, bringing half the room to the dance floor with their roaring saxophone, fat bass lines, electrifying keys, stabbing guitar and grooving drums. What was evident was not only the crowd’s pleasure but also the band’s humour and enjoyment.

Finally, Wind-Up Projectiles came on at the crowd’s climax, thrashing into the auditorium with unreleased material before playing through the EP, much to the crowd’s delight. Yet more dancing ensued and lead to demands for an encore.

Post-gig, Wind-Up Projectiles were delighted with the day as a whole. Their chemistry and humour together is certain – bassist Hayden Hook’s answer to how he found out about the gig was “Google Maps.”

In addition, talking of their admirations for each other’s playing, drummer Lewis Murray cited “Joe’s long hair, Hayden’s pretty handsome and Chris is just super.”

Jokes aside, vocalist Joe Watt added: “Tonight was amazing and it was months and months of hard work coming to fruition. It’s actually one of the best gigs I’ve ever played in my life. We definitely couldn’t have made this EP without the courses at Mareel.”

Murray also said: “I think it’s not only that we play in different bands, it’s that we play in different genres, so I think that comes together, because this is just a total melting pot of everything.”

Keys player Chris Thomson said: “The whole thing was a combination of many different creative aspects. It would not have been considered to do an EP had the band not gotten studio time in Mareel.”

And what does the band want their audience to be left feeling? “Wanting more; I want them to go home, listen to the EP and think ‘Wow, when is the next one coming out’?”

With a full length album already playing on their minds and more gigs lined up, listeners might not be waiting long.

The EP is available for sale at High Level Music, and the video for Confabulation will soon be on the internet. A teaser of the EP can be listened to at: https://soundcloud.com/windupprojectiles/an-explosion-of-dirty-rhythm

Iwan MacBride