Irk are a Leeds 3 piece who make ugly, angular, noise-fused, math rock, consisting of drums, bass, and vocals. They have been long championed by our good friends at Bad Owl Presents and those guys know their angry math rock onions.
Having just released their debut album, Recipes from the Bible, at the beginning of December we got them to sit down and pick the three records that drive their furious sound.
Jack Gordon (vocals) – The Mountain Goats – Tallahassee
I love experimental and avant-garde music, and music that results in extreme emotional reactions (especially unpleasant ones). However, like the food critic who gets a kick out of sea urchin custard with vinegar sorbet but forever goes back to peanut butter on toast, my favourite album will probably strike a lot of people as surprisingly mild-mannered. Wrong.
Tallahassee by The Mountain Goats is all the more extreme in its ability to plumb the depths of my underclass soul, not contrary to its stripped back singer-songwriter folk rock sensibilities, but directly because of them. As with all of their music, it’s downright fucking purifying.
Ed Snell (bass) – Converge – Jane Doe
On a first listen I didn’t click with Jane Doe, but it grabbed my attention and I kept coming back to it until I was well and truly hooked. It was one of the first heavy albums I heard that explored a diverse range of boundaries in song writing.
It’s fiercely heavy but it’s got hooks, there’s down-the-line, snappy songs like Concubine and then there’s big meandering beasts like the title track Jane Doe. It’s uncompromising throughout and the intense energy of the album is palpable. If I can create just a few of those characteristics in Irk songs, then I’m happy.
Matt Deamer (Drums) – Kong – Snake Magnet
Ugly, shambolic, meticulous, irreverent, absurd and masterful. Snake Magnet is one of the greatest (and most overlooked) noise rock albums of all time. Kong stitch together all the best bands in the genre whilst infusing a demented level of complexity and originality into proceedings.
An insanely tight rhythm section and baffling drum patterns underpin harsh guitars, whilst a derranged man shouts gibberish. It’s a bizarre and invigorating racket. The album’s exciting mix of nuance and noise was a bit of a revelation to me, and definitely reignited my interest in starting a band.