Last month, news broke that Chris Rowley of 90s underground legends Huggy Bear, John Arthur Webb and Kevin Hendrick of the band Male Bonding, and drummer Sonny Barrett had come together as a new band called Adulkt Life, sharing the single “Town Pride”. Today the band have revealed the details of their debut album: it’s called Book of Curses and will come out on November 6 through What’s Your Rupture? They’ve also shared a couple of new songs called “Stevie K” and “Taking Hits”.
On “Stevie K”, a song inspired by seeing Nation of Ulysses, Rowley reveals:
‘Stevie K’ was recorded in starvation conditions/prison yard styleunder the working title ‘Nation of Ulysses ruined my life’ as in ‘wheredo you take that logic to a limit?’ It’s a mod/art ballad for a catcherin the rye/no friends shake up steve k mythically emerging fromfield recordings, in love with the ruts staring at the rude boys ascream for hope/deliverance.”
The second single, “Taking Hits”, he introduces by saying:
“I wanted to forge a battle hymn that would corral our beat down andpunch drunk living situations into something transcendent, stronger ofknees and able to stare out the haters. It’s a synaesthesia yarn synthesising smelling salts, rubbingoils, cheerleading disgust, sugar and vitriol, like if the grifters gotup early and went track training in the rain/confused east coasthard-core with all the floodlights on/jaws clamped like Dan Fante.“
Adulkt Life’s curdled punk approach belies the poetry at play in these songs, both being such sonic thrill rides that you might not at first notice the powerful characters inhabiting them. “Stevie K” is a pulverising assault on all fronts, pushing this story about the titular bloke with “fucked up teeth” right into your face with no regard for social distancing. With electrifying guitars riding a battalion of drums, it’s a song that begs to be moshed to.
“Taking Hits” comes at things with a more measured approach, a slightly new-wave guitar and synth interplay, leaving space for this tale of someone failing in their self care – “nothing in my fridge,” he spits with disgust. This malaise builds into a dark and jumbled peak, a chorus of pure nihilism and sonic abandon.