THE ROOM IN THE WOOD – MARS EP
A Spill Exclusive EP Premiere
Friday brings the release of the new ‘Mars’ EP from Liverpool-based The Room in the Wood – it will be released both digitally and on limited-edition CD via A Turntable Friend Records. This has been a very prolific year for the duo, with this release happening not too long after releasing their debut album ‘The Room in the Wood’ and the ‘Magical Thinking’ EP prior to that.
Band members Paul Cavanagh and Dave Jackson are once again working together after a huge gap since their post-punk band The Room split back in 1985. After reuniting, this past year has seen them write over 30 new songs.
If you want a sci-fi inspired view of our human future that is grounded in the very here and now of rock and roll and indie folk, look no further than the new ‘Mars’ EP. This release should appeal to fans of their earlier band The Room for obvious reasons, but also to those who appreciate Tindersticks, Bill Calahan and Fleet Foxes. Definitely one of Liverpool’s most dynamic bands at the moment – bucking trends and sticking to their own unique and remarkable trajectory.
Featuring contributions by drummer Colin George Lamont (Mark Lanegan, Dave Gahan), this album was recorded by Steve Powell (Michael Head & the Red Elastic Band) at his Liverpool-based Ark Studio and mastered by Pete Maher (Barry Adamson, The Alarm).
Lead track ‘Mars (Won’t Save Us)’ is a riff-based psyche rocker focused on the foolishness of Elon Musk’s ideas about colonising the Red Planet. We are reminded “Mars won’t save us. Mars has no air.” It is accompanied by a psychedelic video composition by ex-Send No Flowers and Moongoose collaborator Mark Jordan.
“We went in the studio to record some tracks and came up with ‘Mars (Won’t Save Us)’, which was a riffy departure from most of our debut album. Lyrically it’s a flat statement that Mars is not a viable option for emigration,” says Dave Jackson.
“‘Every Lie’ is a bluesy, countrified stomper bemoaning the rise of the populist right, and inspired by the late great Johnny Cash – this is a response to Trump and Brexit. ‘Get Clear’ a Spanish guitar-tinged ballad extolling the virtues of escaping cult thinking. It follow ups our song ‘Magical Thinking’, but is sung to a friend escaping some dogmatic cult.”
“Time Machine’ is another vaguely sci-fi rumination, wistfully reflecting on the passage of time filtered through the vision of HG Wells. We thought that ‘Mars’ and ‘Time Machine’ gave the EP a science fiction edge and Mark Jordan’s video reflects that,” says Paul Cavanaugh.
Both Jackson and Cavanagh are long-timers insofar as the UK underground music scene goes. Dave Jackson has been writing and recording since his teens – with The Room, 051, Benny Profane, Dust, Dead Cowboys, as Dave Jackson & The Cathedral Mountaineers, and also with former Shack guitarist John Head. He has recorded and released 10 albums with these various incarnations, notched up 7 John Peel sessions with The Room and Benny Profane, and has also appeared on the Whistle Test, Janice Long and Saturday Live.
He has also toured the UK, Europe and the USA extensively with The Fall, The Violent Femmes, Aztec Camera, The Lemonheads and The Wedding Present. He currently teaches creative writing at Liverpool John Moores University and has developed his novel ‘Violet City’ as a low-budget fantasy feature film.
Apart from The Room, Paul Cavanagh has performed as a solo instrumentalist as Cabin in the Woods and as one of Mike Badger’s Shady Trio. He worked with The Room drummer Alan Wills at Deltasonic Records with The Coral and The Zutons. Paul has also recorded 4 John Peel sessions and released albums with Top, It’s Immaterial, Moongoose, as well as critically acclaimed singles with Gloss. He also played guitar for Chinese Religion, The Balcony and Ludus.
A Turntable Friend Records is an independent record label. currently in its second life. Based in Germany with distribution through SRD (Southern Record Distributors) and Rough Trade, their mission is to keep vinyl alive while casting light on sonic gems of yesteryear and today. 1990s peers of Sarah Records and Slumberland Records, ATF Records has always had a roster as diverse as Secret Shine, The Wolfhounds, Boyracer (with Even As We Speak), The Claim, The Ropers, the Hellfire Sermons, Lorelei, Bradford, Easy and Dose.
As of November 23, The Mars EP will be available across music stores and streaming platforms such as Spotify and, of course, Bandcamp.
Written and performed by Dave Jackson and Paul Cavanagh
Recorded at Ark Studio Liverpool
Steve Powell – recording, mixing and engineering
Pete Maher – mastering
Dave Jackson – lyrics and vocals
Paul Cavanagh – guitar and bass
Colin George Lamont – drums
Mark Jordan video and cover images, using band footage by Yvonne Marsden
Catalogue number: TURN60D
Also check out their new video for “Mars (Won’t Save Us)”
The Room In The Wood
(A Turntable Friend Records)
Release Date: November 23, 2018
Mars EP Track Listing
1. Mars (Won’t Save Us)
2. Time Machine
3. Every Lie
4. Get Clear