Having caused a stir with their two singles “Griefcase” and “This Note Is Useless”, the Manchester based duo SLAP RASH have just released their debut EP Catherine Special, out now on Open Tab / Fire Talk Records.
To celebrate the release, they have served up a killer video for the single “Griefcase”, and they’re also about to kick off a run of dates with label mates Mandy, Indiana which kicked off last week.
SLAP RASH, the brother-sister duo of Amelia and Huw Lloyd, make music that reverberates from the core of the body. Based in the experimental hub of Manchester since forming in 2019 the band has released a slew of gripping singles that reflect their growing reputation as a visceral live act. New EP Catherine Special was recorded in the Warren Studio in Sheffield and harnesses the band’s unbridled energy alongside threadbare industrial experimentations.
There’s a sense of deeply physical motion throughout Catheirne Special: a unified, cohesive sonic barrage that also leaves room for release. “Palm to palm, embalm / give your body,” Amelia ruminates on “This Note Is Useless,” which see-saws through vigorous baselines and a particularly dynamic vocal performance, while the revved-up scrappiness of opener “Photo Fit” details how people’s depiction of their identities online rarely matches the truth (“loopholes and data”). SLAP RASH are at their most compelling given their attention to balancing a punk ethos with carefully employed restraint: one moment in the seconds of silence within “Griefcase,” which reflects on cyclical patterns of past destruction, as well as the oscillating tempo that explodes into noise on “Denial.”
It’s this multidimensional ethos that sets the band apart. SLAP RASH has found a home in DIY spaces while already sounding larger than life: both disarmingly raw and expressively forceful, Catherine Special marks the debut of a band filled with the ability to claim their place in the world with uttermost intention.
CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.