witchescrew by Lip Filler album review by Tuhin Chakrabarti for Northern Transmissions. The UK band's LP is out today via Chess Club Records



Lip Filler

Witchescrew is a terse, 720-second EP of delectable outsider indie rock from an erratic ensemble of house-show-thrashing UK ruffians. Equally tempered with a professional music education, Lip Filler is a supreme balancing act of thrashing, fuzzy distortion and academic precision. Emerging from the vibrant UK indie scene, Lip Filler has crafted a distinct identity, merging raw punk energy with a keen sense of musical craftsmanship. Their latest EP encapsulates this duality, presenting a collection that is as intellectually stimulating as it is viscerally exciting. Known for their chaotic live performances and DIY ethos, the band channels this spirit into their studio work, resulting in an EP that feels meticulously constructed with endearing recklessness.

The opening track, “CARLING,” sets the tone with a granulated guitar intro that bursts into an explosive amalgamation of 2000s alternative rock influences, notably Gorillaz. The band also navigates a terrain reminiscent of The Strokes’ early work, infusing it with more fuzz, grit and edginess. The lyrics, a sardonic commentary on British pub culture, encapsulate the band’s indie, on-the-margin perspective: “Came to the bar, 9 a pint? / Smashed up the barman!”

The opening moments of the EP hit with the force of a sudden adrenaline rush, akin to diving headfirst into a mosh pit. “CARLING” is a perfect embodiment of this, its sardonic lyrics and explosive instrumentation creating an atmosphere thick with rebellion. The band’s ability to evoke the gritty, sweat-soaked ambiance of a live show through their recordings is nothing short of remarkable. There’s a palpable sense of urgency here, a frenetic pace that captures the unrestrained spirit of punk while grounding it in the meticulous precision of indie alt-rock.

“Its not deep” follows with a sharp critique of neurotic pretentiousness in the indie scene. The title itself is a playful jab, and the lyrics reinforce this with lines like, “You wouldn’t wanna know cause you’re wrapped up / Sink-holed” and “Knee deep in your own shit.” The track’s frenetic pace and catchy hooks make it an undeniable highlight. The visceral energy of this track feels like a mosh pit in full swing, pure energy crashing together in a sweaty dance of post-teenage angst. It is undoubtedly a highlight, with the catchiest hook and most potential for virality.

In “Followup,” Lip Filler returns to a more upbeat, yet equally cynical, tone. The track’s punchy rhythm and sharp lyrics critique the superficiality of social media culture. “I’ve been tryna get your followers to follow us” This track’s more melancholic delivery and incisive commentary make it another standout. The instrumentation here is particularly effective, with a propulsive bassline and punchy, driving drums providing a solid foundation for the biting lyrical content. Listening to “Followup” is like a whirlwind of teenage angst and searching, questioning the authenticity of the digital personas we create.

From the explosion of “CARLING” to the final lyrical plea of “Please delete my phone” in “Limelite,” this EP drags the listener through a whirlwind of emotions and sonic textures. Each track is a meticulously crafted explosion, balancing chaos and order in a way that feels both anarchic and deliberate.

This release is a masterful balance of raw energy and meticulous craft. Lip Filler navigates various indie rock and punk influences, creating a sound that is aughts-nostalgic but refreshingly Gen Z. For those claiming “they don’t do it like they used to,” look harder and you might find something like Lip Filler. Witchescrew is as expressionistic as it is a cohesive narrative, musing on the disillusionment, self-destruction, and search for authenticity of canceled futures in a hyper-connected world.

Order witchescrew by Lip Filler HERE


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