Regressive Left are a new London trio comprising Georgia Hardy, Will Crosby, and Simon Tyrie, who make slightly erratic and wholly irresistible art rock in the ilk of Talking Heads or Devo. As the band’s name suggests, Regressive Left are politically minded, and they’re putting that up front and centre with their debut single “Eternal Returns”, about which they inform us:
“‘Eternal Returns’ is about the ‘I’m alright, Jack’s of this country, lining their pockets while the world burns around them, and the gutless liberalism being offered as the only so-called alternative to rising inequality. The concept of eternal return was popularised by Nietzsche and refers to past events recurring over and over again.”
The trio set out their groove immediately, with a simple beat and a buoyant bass synth melody underpinning the track, while cortex-tickling guitar tones whizz all around. Their smart-alec nature is immediately on show with the opening line “nobody carries around change anymore / they wait for it to come,” but “Eternal Returns” is not all about being snarky – this is an angst-ridden state-of-the-world address, with no shortage of anger simmering away underneath. Tension builds as they construct this character of someone who is oblivious to the inequalities of the world, simply seeing themselves as the centre of everything, and as long as they have their car and their woman then everything is right.
Regressive Left blow up this image in the electrifying chorus, where jagged instrumental injections underscore the repetition of “what do you mean!?” – a simple phrase that we’re constantly spouting in this modern nightmare. The trio also take time to show off their sumptuous chemistry and instrumental nous, diverting their agitation into a jazzy breakdown, replete with skronking horn and steaming guitar solo, while the insistent rhythm impels you to move.
“Eternal Returns” may only be four minutes, but introduces Regressive Left as a band overflowing with ideas – both musical and political – that places them as an exciting and vital new act to follow.