Sunday, 2 December 2012

Tangled Talk Records

Tangled Talk Final

Aside from such legendary imprints as Sub-Pop, Def Jam and Discord, few labels can lay claim to being one of the homes of a musical movement. However, as one of the originating hotbeds of the burgeoning #UKSwell scene, Brighton’s Tangled Talk could possibly have a stake in such a hall of fame.

Not denoting a genre as such, the hashtag started as a joke in reference to the US ‘Wave’ of bands such as Defeater and Touché Amoré (and for some involved, it still is), but soon came to stand for a shared ethos of bands looking to foster a spirit of camaraderie within the UK’s heavy music scene. In practice, the term denotes a collective wanting to play heavy music that is free of pretence and macho stigma.

Founded back in 2008, Tangled Talk, along with Holy Roar, have played a key part in the unearthing of the intelligent heavy music acts that have gone on to form this strong grassroots community and have continually put out absolute stormers of modern hardcore. The label soon became home to some of Swell’s core bands such as The Long Haul and Pariso, and jointly released the sadly defunct Kerouac’s records along with their Holy Roar brethren.

It’s not all about the screamy stuff however. The label has diversified this year with releases from party punks Gnarwolves and alt-folk act Mothbites, and has previously handled UK distribution for spoken word supremos Listener.

Label founder Andrej can pride himself not only on the talent of the bands on his roster, but also the loving craft of the physical products developed for them, with their emphasis on unique vinyl pressings. These range from the resplendent (see Vales white ‘snow-drops’ number) to the bizarre (Gnarwolves’ ‘sneezing wolf’ 12” complete with ‘snot-splatter’ effect) and recently, Pariso opted for a format that is both personalised postcard from the band and playable record in one!

Tangled Talk releases begging to be checked out:

The Long Haul – Debtors
South coast hardcore with blues sensibilities buried amongst breakneck time changes and unreserved fury. Expect big things from a debut full length.

Vales – Clarity
Released in January under the moniker Veils until a pesky threat of legal action, the original pressing of this debut EP may be rendered a future rarity. Vital, angular modern screamo from deepest, darkest Cornwall.

Kerouac – Cold and Distant, Not Loving
Everything the contemporary hardcore record should be, showcasing their ability to create haunting beauty out of disparate elements and chaotic noise. If only we could have had another before they called it a day.

Gnarwolves – CRU
Breathing life into pop punk with their total lack of pretence, uplifting zest for life and rousing sing-a-longs. This is party rock at its finest.

Pick up all these releases and more in some lush formats over at

Illustration by @DeanSmithers

Article originally published at