Since I’ve started doing Track of the Week, I’ve noticed a few trends occurring. Of course, anything that bends the usual lad-based narrative of songs that pine after girls is always good, as is anything that sounds starkly different and innovative. But just like one of our previous picks with Proletariat, I’m starting to lean towards songs which tackle the political.
Now I know that politics is never a good starting point for any conversation, unless everyone’s on their very best behaviour, but there’s always something about a political tune which gives it extra impact. Of course, with today’s political climate offering many prime opportunities for criticism, it’s no wonder that we’re amid a revival of punk, grunge, and all things alternative.
Enter Glasgow four-piece Heavy Rapids.
After much searching, I can only conclude that the band’s name isn’t a reference to the Scottish city’s dangerous water network – most rivers and canals in the region are quite tame and tranquil, it’s just the locals that are dangerous.
Regardless of the safety of the Glasgow populace, what can you expect from the local heroes? Well for one, a relentless assault on the senses for one. Let’s break it down, piece-by-piece.
To start, the potent growling throughout the track stems from Dillon Squire, who misses out on the opportunity to use a Fender Squire on this video, opting instead for a Rickenbacker. Don’t fret though, as a Fender does indeed make an appearance. Aside from this discrepancy, there’s a raw unbottled angst here, one which I’ve not heard since the dawn of The Blinders.
But the track isn’t all emotion; just like any good track nowadays, it’s not confined by any genre restraints, instead borrowing a little of everything to create the emphatic, distorted and direct message of the song. Indeed, ‘Crying Shame’ would sit happily as a punk track, and equally well as a rock offering.
From the off, a suspiciously grounded bassline welcomes you, before introducing you into a manic world of frustrated youth. This intensity only grows, with the howling cries of ‘This generation’s gone insane’ permeating the chorus and striking a chord with a forceful, intent yet ultimately misguided youth. Amidst all the chaos, it still holds similarities to other forceful tunes, with the impactful chorus holding some similarities to tunes like ‘Go With the Flow’. It’s an angry track which encapsulates the current political arena, and the voices which go unheard within it.
I shouldn’t like it – it is aimlessly angry, refraining from mentioning a specific target and offering no solution in the process. But for its sheer emotion, and the fact that Johnathan Boyd has glowing drumsticks, ‘Crying Shame’ is our Track of the Week.