Release Date: Nov 6, 2020
Record label: What's Yr Rupture?
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Punk Revival
Roughly 25 years after the influential band Huggy Bear split up, one of the group's vocalists, Chris Rowley, returned to music in the band Adulkt Life. Teaming with two members of Male Bonding (guitarist John Arthur Webb and bassist Kevin Hendrick) and drummer Sonny Barrett, Rowley makes the most of his comeback. He yells, shouts, cajoles, croons wickedly, and sneers his way through the band's debut, Book of Curses, like barely a minute has passed since Huggy Bear's heyday.
Since leaving his former outfit Huggy Bear who were prominent on the UK riot grrrl scene in the early '90s, Rowley hadn't felt the need to play in a band. His meeting with Webb however, sparked a mutual excitement at the possibility of creating music again. Now signed to What's Your Rupture?, Adulkt Life are shaking up the cynics with their abrasive guitar riffs and scathing lyricism.
Chris Rowley is an unlikely mouthpiece for adulthood. As a vocalist in the bombastic Brighton riot grrrl group Huggy Bear, he balanced the sardonic sneers of Niki Elliot and the harmonic cheers of Jo Johnson with his dry delivery, a spoken-word spitfire of resentment and frustration. "Kids get in, pulled out by parent-core in a gravy of envy they're descending," he barked menacingly on their 1993 record Taking The Rough With The Smooch, a self-aware portrait of teenage rage.
What was the first thing that caught your eye about this review? It probably wasn't the pleasingly minimal black and white artwork on the record cover. A more reasonable answer is that it was that bizarre extraneous letter K that's somehow been wedged into the groups name; Adulkt Life. What does it signify? What is its possible intention? Putting on our critical detective's hat, we came up with three things the letter K could stand for: the first is an abbreviation for ketamine, the drug once used to sedate farmyard animals that's become a recreational pastime for deviants the world over.