Fans who faced the full fierce depravity of Empire State Bastard’s debut album Rivers of Heresy discovered a savage shock just four songs in with the track “Tired, Aye?”. In contrast to the blistering wall-of-sound of the album’s opening triple-threat, “Tired, Aye?” presented an audacious twist-in-the-tale. Simon Neil’s feral yelps were backed only by the manic, multi-limbered mayhem provided by drummer Dave Lombardo – the result being something like John Zorn orchestrating an extreme metal duet between Kiki Dee and Elton John. Now ESB unleash the original version of the track, now retitled “Tired, Naw?”. As for its story? Well read on…
Much of Rivers of Heresy was written remotely, with Mike Vennart laying down guitar, bass and guide drums before Simon Neil added the most versatile and ferocious vocals of his life so far. Except in the case of “Tired, Aye?”, much to his surprise, Mike discovered that Simon had added his vocal parts… but in the process had also removed everything else bar the drums. Now “Tired, Naw?” introduces the track as Mike had originally intended. It’s just as fearsomely full-throttle as the original, but now it’s possessed by a claustrophobic panic that feels as if you’re attempting to escape from a vat of quick-drying cement.
The accompanying video pulls no punches either. The band’s latest collaboration with Mike Bourne after “The Looming”, the visual is packed with convulsive rapid fire edits, twisted images of Mike and Simon, and bursts of colour that threaten to burn a hole in your retinas.
We’re delighted to share the fully suited, original version of “Tired, Aye?”: “Tired, Naw?”. The magical Mike Bourne has created another outstanding, mind-bending video for the song. It’s pure nightmare fuel. Sweet dreams.
Talking of sweet dreams, the waking nightmare that is the ESB live experience is now lumbering across Europe with malevolent intent. After playing some instantly sold-out headline shows as well as festivals including Glastonbury, Download, 2000 Trees, Hellfest, Wacken Open Air and ArcTanGent, the band will now lay siege to the following venues with special guests Benefits. Remaining tickets are available here.
Empire State Bastard British dates:
- 9th – Cardiff, University Students’ Union – Y Plas
- 10th – Birmingham, O2 Academy 2
- 11th – London, Electric Brixton
- 13th – Manchester, New Century Hall
- 14th – Glasgow, SWG3 TV Studio