Much ado has been made about the latest breed of hard rock heroes, from whiz kid emo-rockers to scary-masked nu-metal madmen, both of whom, in their own canny way, spit out speedy, lo-fi riffs whilst touting angry bad-boy rhetoric. Lethargy are you’ll be pleased to know, cut from a refreshingly different cloth.
This is a band that merges two highly valuable commodities; that’s riff driven hard rock and seriously impressive, some might say spellbinding, musicality. Sure, it’s been a long time coming but, thank god, they’ve finally arrived…and in some style too.
Born and raised in South Wales, Neath to be precise, this four-man crew has hauled themselves up by their boot straps with one specific and infinitely noble goal in mind – to become one of the best groups of their generation. It’s a tall order, and one they might wish to reconsider at some point, but ambition and drive is something these guys have in spades. That’s not to say Lethargy are boxing above their weight - clearly they have it in ‘em to lay waste to the competition – but they want to win by pushing their own personal musical and personal boundaries to the max. And that’s a very good thing indeed.
It’s no secret that Lethargy are influenced by both the old and the new, coming across as a particularly impressive combination of current hard-metal masters and edgy neo-progressive mavericks. A brief fifteen minute chat with them will reveal influences as far ranging as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Manic Street Preachers, Dream Theater, Radiohead and Alice In Chains, to name but a few of the diverse sounds these guys are into.
Their songs seem to occupy wildly opposite extremes; long drawn out raging musical battles or short, sharp shocks to the system. They all, however, have one common denominator – a stunning ability to deliver a message. The emphasis, lyrically, is always on radical, some might say fundamental, life issues – everything from spooky mind control to apocalyptic war mongering. Out of it all though, there is a sense of revelation, a feeling that these guys aren’t just cribbing from the Introduction To Contemporary Sociology GCSE primer, but actually writing about real life lessons learnt at Neath’s University Of Hard Knocks; the kind of stuff absorbed whilst growing up in a once thriving town whose heart and soul was systematically dismantled by Margaret Thatcher back in the eighties. An all too familiar sight; streets lined with boarded-up shops, kids kicking around tin cans and too many empty old-school pubs. Meanwhile, a short bike ride away, the countryside is stunningly serene and beautiful; a dilemma directly reflected in their music.
So, this band knows how to rock…Hard, but still produce music that is crafted and thoughtful, sun-kissed with extraordinary arrangements and breathtaking musical dog-fights. This is a band operating ahead of their years - all members, incidentally, are in the late teens/early twenties. So it was no wonder that esteemed rock journalist Geoff Barton over at Classic Rock Magazine nearly had a coronary the first time he heard the band’s self-financed debut album ‘Road Out Of Nowhere’, issued in 2005, a record that went on to gain a well-earned place as one of the magazine’s top twenty albums of the year.
Encouraged by this, and similar praise elsewhere, the band spent the best part of two years systematically deconstructing and then reconstructing their sound before A&R man Derek Oliver introduced them to noted American producer David Prater who he hired to work on Dream Theater’s land mark prog-metal opus ‘Images And Words’. Prater was so struck by the band’s ability to breathe new life into an old formula that he agreed, without any hesitation, to fly to Wales and record the band at Mwnci (pronounced mun-key) studios, a residential operation, lying in the beautiful hills and valleys of Pembrokeshire. Tracked in four weeks and later mixed by Prater in South America, the album, titled ‘Purification’, is now revved up and ready to go.
Finding a happy and welcoming home with Powerage Records, the newly-formed Classic Rock/Plastic Head backed label, the album will be released amidst a fan-fare of approval, from both long-time fans and new converts alike as it happens to be one of the best records by a young British band for many moons.
Oh, and don’t forget to look out for an extensive live schedule, including an already confirmed appearance at this years much anticipated Hard Rock Hell Festival. Lethargy, as you might have guessed, are far from a stay at home bedroom creation; they are super keen to take their message to the streets, and that’s an experience that you certainly would not want to miss. Primed and ready, they promise to take no prisoners.
Andy Hunt – Guitar, vocals
Phil Humphreys – Guitar, vocals
Marc T Jones – Bass, vocals
Gaz Hunt - Drums