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Published on September 1st, 2020 | by Al Geiner


Punk Rockers Folk Devils First New Music in over 30 years !

FOLK DEVILS, the London group that took their name from a well-known academic text on media scapegoating*, have returned with their first new music in 33 years. The band blazed a trail across the UK’s independent music scene of the mid-80s with their unique brand of post-punk energy, known for their acclaimed indie-chart singles “Hank Turns Blue”, “Beautiful Monster”, three John Peel sessions, plus live dates opening for Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Fall, The Gun Club, Screaming Blue Messiahs and others.

The 3-track “Forever” EP lands on 10” (Clear Red Vinyl)^ and Digital on September 18, 2020 via Optic Nerve Recordings and features two new compositions, the title track “Forever” and “My Slum Soul”, plus an incendiary new version of an old live favourite “Ink Runs Dry”. 

Every Folk Devil was influenced by punk. The first generation of punk acts, both British and American, opened-up the practical and creative possibilities of music for malcontents like us. But as much as we all loved and sought out the excitement, attack and intensity of punk rock, we were never a ‘punk band’. Our inspirations and reference points were far more diverse, and we were always arguing about what we should all be listening to. 

Co-founder and singer Ian Lowery’s initial conception of our style was ‘a cross between Country Blues and German metal-bashing’. It might have been a throwaway line; Ian had a million of them. But it ‘rings’ true, I think; connecting the roots and mythology of rock’n’roll with some twisted post-punk noise as an appropriate soundtrack to the hard-luck tales, wordplay and mordant wit of Ian’s lyrics.  Just like the Stones, Kinks, Who, Velvets, Hendrix, Doors, MC5 and Stooges did before us, we aspired to create something instinctive and primal but also intelligent and provocative.

In terms of our contemporary influences, on the road we were never more than a C90 away from something by the Fall, the Birthday Party, Cramps or Gun Club.  And our mixtapes included all sorts of stuff from Hank Williams, Howlin’ Wolf, and Charles Mingus, through to a bit of 60s Garage, Northern Soul and Elvis Costello. Ultimately though, the sound of the band has always cohered around Mark’s bass playing which seems to me to channel the drive and precision of The Stranglers’ JJ Burnel, the brute force of Lemmy and the funk of Youth-era Killing Joke to function as a lead instrument in its own right.  Of course, our raucous, grungy sound fell out of favour when even the independent music scene of the mid-80s music scene came to be dominated by shiny, jangly, digital sounds, before the Pixies and Nirvana made ‘rock’ cool again.  And now we’re back.… ‘Forever’!

Founder member/guitarist Kris Jozajtis, August, 2020

Recorded at London’s famous Konk Studios in North London and mixed and co-produced by Grammy Award-winning engineer Rik Simpson, the re-born Folk Devils drew inspiration for new recordings from the release of their 2016 career retrospective “Beautiful Monsters (Singles & Demo Recordings 1984-86)” and the excellent reactions at subsequent live shows around the UK with kindred spirits Membranes, Inca Babies, The Wolfhounds and The Cravats.

Founder members, guitarist Kris Jozajtis and bassist Mark Whiteley, reformed the group by recruiting members of a short-lived 1987 version of Folk Devils; guitarist Nick Clift and drummer John Hamilton. Together with singer Dave Hodgson they soon discovered they had created a well-oiled twin-guitar juggernaut that brimmed with the same restless, twisted blues that characterized the first and second iterations of the band from 1983-87 when they were fronted by the highly underrated and now sadly-departed singer/songwriter Ian Lowery. Hodgson, a fellow transplant from the North-East, had known Lowery in the early 80s prior to Folk Devils, when the two were in their respective post-punk bands Ski Patrol and Parting Shots.

Questions, requests, feedback welcome, please contact Nick Clift [email protected]

Please reference folkdevils.bandcamp.com for vinyl and download pre-orders 

* Folk Devils and Moral Panics by Stanley Cohen (1972) 

^ Limited Edition of 250

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