Post-punk swamp-goth rockers Inca Babies pare back with resent ‘Swamp Street Soul’, their eighth studio album. This collection of new tunes, drawn from their fantastic imagination, offers a hefty dose of the gritty sound that the Manchester-based deathrock / postpunk outfit have become known for over the decades since forming in 1983.
Today Inca Babies is a trio made up of Harry Stafford (guitar, keys, vocals), bassist Vince Hunt (A Witness, Blue Orchids) and Rob Haynes (The Membranes, Goldblade) on drums and percussion. It’s been seven years since the final release of their Death Blues Trilogy – ‘Death Message Blues’ (2010), ‘Deep Dark Blue’ (2012) and ‘The Stereo Plan’ (2014).
‘Swamp Street Soul’ takes us across a tightly euphoric path of differing moods and new arenas of guitar songwriting. This LP continues the band’s explosive exploration of goth-punk and death-rock and trash blues with epic cautionary ballads. Frontman Harry Stafford has written a fulsome collection of tall tales of madness, fearfully larger-than-life characters and extravagant yarns, backed by a no-nonsense rhythm section locked into a pounding backbeat.
The trio also present their new video for ‘Crawling Garage Gasoline’ (along with b-side ‘Grunt Cadillac Hotel’, produced by Harry Stafford at NoiseBoy Studios in Salford. Earlier, the Incas previewed lead track ‘Walk In The Park’ with a strutting blues beat, infectious guitar lick and bluesy post-punk musings.
“This ‘Crawling Garage Gasoline’ is a re visiting of a 1980s Inca’s classic, all bluster and ‘pedal to the metal’ speed punk. It’s a tale of the descent into the maelstrom but don’t forget to get some gas along the way. The urge to re-record this came from its popularity as a live song at recent Inca gigs, now paired down and with more bite, it has certainly stood the test of time. It was originally released on the ‘Surfin’ in Locustland’ EP back in 1985 and was also recorded for the Incas’ third John Peel session in June that year,” says Harry Stafford.
A vibrant part of Britain’s early postpunk / death rock scene, Inca Babies’ story began in 1983 in the now-legendary deck-access flats of Hulme (Manchester), which were intended as ‘cities in the sky’ for young executives but quickly became cockroach-infested slums mostly inhabited by students, artists, and drug addicts. True to DIY ethos, they self-released their debut single ‘Interior’ in 1984.
With a further six singles and four albums over five years, all of which entered the UK Indie Charts, they also recorded four sessions for BBC’s John Peel show in 1984-1988 before calling it quits. Since reforming in 2007, they’ve released three albums and toured extensively around Europe, including Russia, as well as North America and India. Renewed interest in the Incas was propelled by Cherry Red Records ‘Best Of’ compilation release ‘Inca Babies 1983-87: Plutonium’.
As of November 23, the ‘Swamp Street Soul’ album will be available digitally everywhere, including Spotify, Apple Music and Bandcamp, where it can be ordered directly from the band. It can also be obtained via the Louder Than War shop.
Harry Stafford – guitar, vocals
Vince Hunt – bass
Rob Haynes – drums
Kevin Davy – trumpet
Black Lagoon Records catalogue #BLRCD0058
Photography by Steve Nicholl
1. Swamp Street Soul
2. Walk in the Park
4. Dear English Journalists
5. Crawling Garage Gasoline
6. Bigger than all of us
7. I’m Grounded
8. Oh, the Angels how I bless them
9. Windshield Gnat
10. Mine of Bones
11. Swamp Soul Dub
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