The North of England is home to some wonderful bands and musicians. Too many to mention, but today I’m going to focus on Leeds based Wormboys.
How do you describe their sound? Can you pick up any influences? What makes them standout? There aren’t enough hours in the day to describe them, but I’m on my lunch break at work so I have limited time but I’ll do my best to make this make sense!
Smalltime only has 3 songs on it, but don’t let that small detail put you off. There are hints of 90s Grunge on this record (the song Worm reminds me a little bit of Something In The Way by Nirvana in some parts) but Wormboys are a band that are confident in their sound and know exactly how they want to sound. There are 4 of them in the band, and each of them are just remarkable at what they do. It may only be a 3 track EP but those 3 tracks show you exactly what this band are made of.
There also elements of the Riot Grrrl movement on this record, and I think it’s most apparent on the euphoric Tree, which closes the record. I don’t feel like I’m listening to a band from 2023 when I listen to this record. I feel like I’ve been thrown back to the early 90s in the midst of all the greats such as Garbage (best band of all time), Bikini Kill, Hole, Babes In Toyland. Wormboys have such a solid sound and with one listen of this record I can confirm that the chorus of Tree will be stuck in my head for the rest of the day.
Wormboys are the noisy Queer band I’ve been looking for; there’s no other band out there that sounds like them. Now, I know this contradicts what I’ve said above about the 90s sound but there’s no current band around that has this sound like this. I just love how care free the sound is and you really pick up on this on Something Pretty. They make the kind of music I wish I had when I was in college and secondary school- trying to find my way. I made to adulthood but god knows how! You’d definitely expect to hear their music in a Student Union bar that has a questionable sticky floor along with questionable drinks on offer. There’s a lot of fun in their sound and a lot of depth. You can’t help but be in awe of Jake and Ruth compliment each other on the drums and bass. You’ve got Sop and Harry on vocals/guitar, and their vocals together are nothing short of heavenly and again, you really feel this on the song Worm.
This is only their second EP but it sounds like a band who have been at this for decades. Everything about this EP is worthy of your time and attention- the songs are just effortlessly slick, and that lo-fi sound, and that DIY ethic attached to it really comes across. If this record moves you, then go back and listen to their other stuff- it’s as equally mind-blowing. When you play the songs through headphones, you can really hear the sound fully and truly appreciate the lyrics and songs in general. I highly recommend playing Tree as loud as your ears can stand through headphones; just so you can really pick everything that’s going on in this song. There’s a lot but by no means is it overwhelming. If anything, it’s comforting. The loudness and the tender moments on the record are exactly why I love this band, and why I’ll probably be obsessed with this EP. The shifts in moods on the songs and the way the band just compliment each other with their own styles and sounds is just an absolute joy to listen to.
The band are heading out on a small tour starting this Friday: (please come to Manchester!)
Jan 27 Wharf Chambers Cooperative Club, Leeds
Jan 29 The New Adelphi Club, Hull
Feb 06 Little Buildings, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Feb 07 The Hug and Pint, Glasgow
Feb 10 Rad Apples, Dundee
Feb 11 Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh
The EP also comes out this Friday, and I’ll end this with a gorgeous quite from Ruth about touring, which I think is so important: “It’s been life-affirming to headline shows around the country, consistently warmly received by crowds of queers and weirdos who are angry and upset about all the same shit as us.”