The new collaboration between Huggy Bear & Male Bonding members announce debut album 'Book of Curses', out November 6th on What's Your Rupture? They share two new singles, "Stevie K" and "Taking Hits".
Adulkt Life, a new band comprised of Huggy Bear’s Chris Rowley, Male Bonding’s John Arthur Webb and Kevin Hendrick, and drummer Sonny Barrett, announce their debut album, 'Book Of Curses', out November 6th on What’s Your Rupture?
Following their recently released debut single “Country Pride”, they offer two new singles, “Stevie K” and “Taking Hits.”
Huggy Bearled the UK’s answer to riot grrrl, inspired by the “seismic shock” of witnessing a Nation of Ulysses performance together and galvanized by Bikini Kill drummer Tobi Vail’s germinal riot grrrl zine “Jigsaw.” In the 25 years since Chris Rowley played with iconic Huggy Bear, starting a new band hasn't felt right. But after John Arthur Webb (Male Bonding), who Rowley met while picking up records at a Rough Trade shop, asked if he wanted to play music together it
“suddenly it felt super exciting.”
Within a year, Webb and Rowley befriended drummer Sonny Barrett, who worked at a different Rough Trade location and later offered to drum in Adulkt life. The Adulkt Life lineup was finalised when Webb enlisted his best friend and long-time collaborator, Kevin Hendrick (Middex) on bass.
The cut-and-paste word collages Rowley once shouted in Huggy Bear are as cool and thrilling as ever on ‘Book Of Curses’—with chiselled noise hooks expertly mixed by Webb and mastered by Total Control’s Mikey Young, fitting the “cold war bubblegum” aesthetic called out in the lyrics—but charged by the high-stakes of adulthood.
“Taking Hits” is a rally cry for those unable to cry. The explosive “Stevie K” is a “mythic hero/ine song” inspired by Nation of Ulysses guitarist Steve Kroner. In the 1990s, after Rowley and the other members of Huggy Bear saw Nation of Ulysses,
“You couldn’t be a band and want to be anything less than the impact that had on us [...]
We wanted to shake everybody up.”
Adulkt Life honours these impulses. Rowley expands on “Taking Hits” and “Stevie K”:
“‘Taking Hits’...I wanted to forge a battle hymn that would corral our beat down and punch drunk living situations into something transcendent ,stronger of knees and able to stare out the haters.
It’s a synaesthesia yarn synthesising smelling salts, rubbing oils, cheerleading disgust, sugar and vitriol, like if the grifters got up early and went track training in the rain/confused east coast
hard-core with all the floodlights on/jaws clamped like Dan Fante.
‘Stevie K’ was recorded in starvation conditions/prison yard style under the working title ‘Nation of Ulysses ruined my life’ as in ‘where do you take that logic to a limit?’ It’s a mod/art ballad for a
catcher in the rye/no friends shake up steve k mythically emerging from field recordings, in love
with the ruts staring at the rude boys a scream for hope/deliverance.”
Other songs, ablaze, explore lawlessness, authenticity, love, redemption, like fables of radicals across time and space: us versus them, defeat and resurrection, sax squall, noise blasts, visceral empathy for the vulnerable and disenfranchised. Rowley’s apocalyptic visions just happen to appear alongside bedtime stories. On ‘Book Of Curses’, punk means never surrendering your creativity or your curiosity.
‘Book of Curses’ will be released on November 6th via What’s Your Rupture?
Adulkt Life - Book of Curses
Pre-order it here.