Post-punk swamp-goth rockers Inca Babies are back with a new collection of tunes, drawn from their irresistibly favourite areas of sonic imagination. In November, the Manchester trio will release their eighth studio album ‘Swamp Street Soul’. Ahead of this, they present lead track ‘Walk In The Park’. With a walking blues beat and infectious guitar lick, this feels like a reminiscing stroll through bluesy post-punk musings – as easy as a walk in the park.
Having gone through various incarnations, today Inca Babies is a trio made up of Harry Stafford (guitar, keys, vocals), bassist Vince Hunt (A Witness, Blue Orchids) and Rob Haynes (The Membranes, Goldblade) on drums and percussion. It’s been seven years since they completed the release cycle for their Death Blues Trilogy, which included the albums ‘Death Message Blues’ (2010), ‘Deep Dark Blue’ (2012) and ‘The Stereo Plan’ (2014).
‘Swamp Street Soul’ takes us across a tightly euphoric path of differing moods and new arenas of guitar songwriting. This long-player continues the band’s explosive exploration of goth-punk and death-rock and trash blues with epic cautionary ballads. Frontman Harry Stafford has written a fulsome collection of tall tales of madness, fearfully larger-than-life characters and extravagant yarns, backed by a no-nonsense rhythm section locked into a pounding backbeat.
Produced by Simon ‘Ding’ Archer (The Fall, PJ Harvey) at 6Db Studios, the clarity and fullness of sound on this new album surpasses that of any previous Inca release. This 11-track offering includes a re-visitation of ‘Crawling Garage Gasoline’, originally released on the ‘Surfin’ in Locustland’ EP back in 1985 and also recorded for the Incas’ third John Peel session in June that year.
“Having had some time away from the Inca Babies (I have released three solo albums, all piano and jazz blues based), it was important that I got back to the rudiments of my original inspiration of Post-punk Guitar Rock. On this album ‘Swamp Street Soul’, I think I have had an invaluable opportunity to achieve this by using all the inspiration I’ve picked up from my solo journey,” says Harry Stafford.
“Despite not being able to practice and work with the band, we have made the absolute best time we could in the last two years, snatching rehearsals and recording time. But ultimately the band clicked, and we were able to put together an album that is both a progression and a statement of perpetual quality and undying cool.“
Originally comprised of Harry Stafford (guitar), Bill Marten ( bass), Mike Keeble (vocals) and Pete Bogg (drums), Inca Babies’ story began in 1983 in the now-legendary deck-access flats of Hulme in Manchester, which were intended as ‘cities in the sky’ for young executives but quickly became cockroach-infested slums mostly inhabited by students, artists, and drug addicts. True to DIY ethos, from here, they released their 1984 debut single ‘Interior’ on their own Black Lagoon label.
A vibrant part of Britain’s early postpunk / goth /death rock scene, they amassed a steady following through touring and by releasing a further six singles and four albums over the next five years, all of which entered the UK Indie Charts. They also recorded four sessions for BBC’s legendary John Peel show between 1984 and 1988 before calling it quits that year.
Since reforming in 2007, they have released three albums while touring extensively around Europe, into Russia and as far away as North America and India. Renewed interest in the Incas was propelled by Cherry Red Records ‘Best of’ compilation release ‘Inca Babies 1983-87: Plutonium’. Sadly, in 2008, Bill Marten died and, despite the enormous loss, they decided to continue with Vince Hunt on bass.
‘Walk In The Park’ will be available digitally everywhere, including Spotify, Apple Music and Bandcamp. The ‘Swamp Street Soul’ album will be released on CD and digitally on November 23. It can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp and also the Louder Than War shop.