Leeds bunch Chest Pains – Sammy Robinson, Cal Crombie, Sam Robinson and Calum Coleman – are seeing out the year with a co-headline tour alongside Treeboy & Arc (catch them at Brudenell Social Club in Leeds tonight, Wednesday 28th November), and their debut EP.
‘Love Thy Neighbour’ features the band’s most ambitious work to date, tackling hefty themes of anxiety, bullying, vulnerability and today’s social climate via sinister, claustrophobic indie-punk made for sweaty rooms with sticky floors.
“This whole EP is stylistically different from song to song and flows in a strange manner,” Sammy explains. “We feel this is a solid representation of the way we so often feel, completely uneasy due to that top 1%. Due to the way our political system has been run throughout our lifetimes and the way we’re so often made to feel as though we’re the ones to blame and it’s our own fault. Then again, maybe we’re just naïve millennials who need to stop buying meal deals, put down our silly musical toys and exchange them for briefcases and real jobs…”
This track was definitely the turning point for our writing becoming darker and a little more sinister. The lyrical content stemmed from the anxiety induced physical states that our bodies and minds encounter from drastic change. At the time of writing them, my girlfriend was living on the other side of the world, and I had finally got the chance to go and visit her. When on the journey, all of the lights, architectures and noises surrounding the airport filled me with excitement but, also a sense of uneasiness and distress. What got me through it all was being reunited with my best friend. The song is essentially about overcoming those sudden and unexpected bursts of anxiety which are irrational but unavoidable.
Flip The Disc is our ‘ballad’. We wanted to have a slow point in our set, a song that was vulnerable in every sense. Once again, it’s about irrational anxiety, but how that can be avoided so often with a simple solution. That’s one of those things that’s easier said than done and when faced with that feeling of fear and self-doubt, your body goes into panic mode, and a rational, thought-out answer is more often than not unfathomable.
This is a song for everybody. A song about not being so quick to form an opinion, it stemmed from a desire for lack of a separation. I noticed that on so many occasions in our day-to-day lives we witness and participate in unfair and unnecessary judging. I feel that this comes from us having a fear of interacting with those who are different to ourselves and what we’re used to, or comfortable with. Our conclusions shouldn’t be based on a person’s identity, heritage, physical appearance or anything else that’s external. It should come from our experiences with each other. Then when we do see people being judged unfairly, I think it’s important to confront that. Sit down with the homeless and have a conversation with them, make victims of racism feel welcome and don’t stand for discrimination, the same goes for sexism, transphobia and anything else which is an external quality. Stand up to bullies. Stand against those who hate. Stand with the vulnerable.
Love Thy Neighbour is a follow on from Cut The Resistance. It’s a very blunt commentary on the state of our current social climate within the UK. However, it focuses more on the shifting of blame that so often surrounds many issues. Very often we see articles claiming the reason ‘millennials’ struggle with mental health, money or housing is due to *insert ridiculous reason here*. ‘Meal Deals’ or ‘Avocado On Toast’ are examples of some of the ridiculous reasons that the national press comes up with. The focus should be on the constant rise in the cost of housing, the rapid increase of university fees, a lack of funding for the NHS and the greed of those who have the most.
Chest Pains’ debut EP ‘Love Thy Neighbour’ is out now.