Where did you see yourself in five years?
A fallen soldier, moors murderer, washing linen cloths in a bathroom sink….”
I saw enigmatic (Tod/Manchester formed) band Splint at an early gig (October 21). They were a perfect support to The Lounge Society at the perfect Castle in Manny. Since that time, I’ve been looking out for Splint’s first recorded track release. It’s taken time in gestation as the band get prepared for the onslaught, but now (August 2022) comes Military Procedures, a track that as a debut, nails a statement of intent.
Clearly I wasn’t the only one excited by Splint given they have signed to Nice Swan Records, a label with a perfect ear. Nice Swan have snaffled up a sizable portion of my vinyl budget this year, as they are also home to Courting, Opus Kink and English Teacher. I won’t debase myself as a reviewer (ha, moi?) to reference Splint to these bands and others on the Nice Swan roster, but if you like your indie music spiky, edgy, hard and uncompromising then Splint will be for you.
Given the versatility and sheer confidence of the Splint I saw on stage, those next released tracks are going to be quite the ride.
The Splint line up of today have the highest pedigree – Jake Bogacki (vocals/guitar), Giulia Bonometti (vocals/bass) were part of the early magic incantation of Working Men’s Club, and Giulia has a distinguished solo career too. George Davies (Guitar) and Ellie Rose-Elliott (drums) (Blanketman) make up the quartet. One Henry Carlyle (guitars) is also a loose member of the band. Nuff said with this line up – solid, very solid.
The tune itself and the spoken lyrics in Military Procedures are uncompromisingly strident, and reflect a tapestry of northern echoes and memories. The song lyrics offer a biting reflection of our school years; those 5 years of almost military drill training where we are expected to work out what we are going to do with our lives and be trained and ready.
Those guitars and drums have a solid and sharp military feel of a machine gun discharge and the urgent bite of a drill hall. I like the empathy and horror of this beat.
As lead singer Jake Bogacki explains “Military Procedures is in essence a song about the confusion of adolescence and the acceptance of your own failings, each of which lead you to the circumstances you find yourself in.
Five years was always the given quota by education establishments to judge where and what you will be after you’d finished, to create a sense of urgency to be something. What’s the end goal of all that?“.
It takes years really to deprogram from that sense of school urgency, dread and failure and constraining yourself to your fixed place in the world. Perhaps a song review also helps construct negative boundaries and constrain, although I’m sure Splint can and will disregard my rambling blather.
Whether you got a Grade x or y, whether you understand molar mass and all the rest of it, it moves from being key to being pretty much nothing. So yeah, good shout Splint. A great debut and I can’t wait for more.
Splint have quite a few gigs lined up, including at the Hebden Trades on 27th August, Manny Psych Festival on the 3rd, and at the Manny Castle on the 9th. Visit Splint socials for more info and more dates too.
* images taken from the band’s social profile.