Regressive Left - On the Wrong Side of History EP (Bad Vibrations)
Credit: Regressive Left

Regressive Left – On the Wrong Side of History EP (Bad Vibrations)

Put off by a 4-track EP that opens with a title track nearly eight minutes long? Don’t Be. Regressive Left‘s debut EP On the Wrong Side of History is released on 15 July via Bad Vibrations. It opens with title track minus the “On“, previous single ‘The Wrong Side of History‘. It builds as it progresses, infectious and hypnotic, it is dancefloor perfection.  On a couple of listens almost eight minutes make total sense, it could not possibly be any shorter, I mean what could you leave out?  There is an angular electronic atmosphere created with synth basslines and a throbbing drumbeat.

The trio of Simon Tyrie (vocals, electronics), Georgia Hardy (drums, backing vocals) and Will Crosby (guitars, backing vocals) are Regressive Left and you can hear the influence of the post-punk funk of 1990’s New York. The lyrics poke fun at a certain kind of individual in the here and now.  The trio are a staunchly political band expressing social commentary through their lyrics.  And yet the need to have fun and dance is immersed in their music.

With regards to ‘The Wrong Side of History‘ Simon further explains:
“I started writing it years ago. It was more of a basic spoken word piece from a place of anger and bitterness. Over time it became more and more silly, until it became something to dance to. But on a more granular level, it’s about western imperialism, greed, capital, fear of the other… and what it means to be ‘on the wrong side of history’.”

On ‘World on Fire’ the lyrics speak of skewed priorities. Investment portfolios and their profit-driven targets are burning the world. The hypocrisy of Environmental Societal and Governance principles supposedly bringing positive change but actually it’s the system itself which needs to change: “a sticky plaster for the ozone layer“. The pace here is furious with frenetic drums and a guitar full of reverb and static. The dance beats are deceptive as the themes of the track play out. The chorus repeats “the world for a trust fund” emphasizing the focus on greed rather than social justice. The final few seconds add in a pounding synth perhaps airing a final burst of frustration.

Valentine Caulfield from the Manchester experimental band Mandy, Indiana makes a guest appearance on ‘Bad Faith’. She quotes French psychoanalyst Octave Mannoni’s paradoxical mechanism: “Je sais bien, mais quand même.” In other words: “I know very well, but even so…”. Here the focus is on the idea of deliberately assuming the worst of someone or something they’re said or done. Sonically it rattles along at pace and a wonderful synthesized bell throughout lightens the vibe. Simon further comments:
“Social media has really amplified this trend: everyone has to have a take. So we read between the lines and make wild accusations on the faintest of evidence. It’s something of an art, but one that I think is ultimately detrimental to society.”

Final track ‘No More Fun’ is a wild ride with layers of guitar, synths and drumbeats plus various vocal parts, until suddenly it comes to its abrupt end. Simon expands on its inspiration:
“This song was originally called ‘Tuna In A Cash Bag’. It was around the time of the free school meals debacle, and someone posted a picture of some tuna scraped into a plastic coin bag to show how meagre and depressing the “free school meals” were for the kids that needed them. I saw someone reply to the tweet saying ‘Tuna In A Cash Bag’ sounded like a song John Peel would play, so obviously we had to write it.”

On The Wrong Side of History was recorded over an intense 5-day spell with in-demand producer Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys, MIA, Amyl and The Sniffers) in his studio in Sheffield. 

Before we started working with Ross, we spent two hours on a call with him putting the world to rights,” Simon says. “Even though he lives up the other end of the country, we felt we had more in common with him than any London producers that wanted to work with us. He understood the project and what we were about, and that was really important to us.”

It appears to be a match made in heaven as it has produced an outstanding debut EP. Full of political comment, social observation and despairing of our global capitalist systems, and yet served up with a synth/drums/guitar combination that is absolutely for the dancefloor.

The Wrong Side of History by Regressive Left is released on 15 July via Bad Vibrations.

For more information on the band please check out their facebook and bandcamp.

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