New Blood: Gummy Stumps
The first of two bands from Winning Sperm Party's roster this month, <b>Gummy Stumps</b> are as challenging an act as one could hope to hear from a city renowned for its hard-working musical underground. Vocalist <b>Colin Stewart</b> explains why they can’t sit still
In an age where we're constantly told that the good ideas are already taken, out pops a band with a moniker that's not only fun to say but also conjures up the kind of brutal, blackly humorous imagery that’s buried in the dark recesses of your mind. All of that, before you’ve even heard a note; which brings us to the next great point about Glasgow trio, Gummy Stumps.
Linking together brazen, spoken-word vocals – led by vocalist Colin Stewart's Beefheartian howl – with clattering percussion and a three string guitar that revels as much in fuzz as it does melody, Gummy Stumps create a collective sound that manages to circumnavigate musical conventionality. As you might imagine, it's not always an easy listen, but therein lies the beauty of their fervent bursts of entrancing noise.
"All subject matter is considered; all the emotions, everyday observations in everyday life and commentaries on the absurdities," explains Stumps' vocalist Colin Stewart. "They can vary from straight narrative spoken-word to more verse/chorus song-orientated lyrics, or using the vocals as an extra instrument. Both sets of lyrics to a piece are usually interpretations of each other, interchangeable, and can come across like two different songs at times with Rob [Churm, vocals/guitar]'s counterpoint attack creating a third dimension or different meaning."
Stewart and Churm, along with drummer Rob Alexander, have all previously (and currently) been linked to numerous bands around the local area – from the equally awesomely-titled Bubblewrap Holocaust to Park Attack, Plaaydoh and Eternal Fags – with close links to French label Textile Records as well as Glasgow arts collective/label, Winning Sperm Party. Formed as part of a one-off show for Textile, the band have spent their few years together touring sporadically throughout the UK and Europe, committing some of their fevered gems to tape along the way.
Last year saw the release of the band's Barking Doggerel EP, aided by the capable hands of Teenage Fanclub front-man and all-around good guy Norman Blake. "Norman, as a favour to his missus, recorded four tracks that made up the single released in conjunction with Rob C's exhibition at GOMA," says Stewart. "He came down to our studio with his own mobile recording gear – a collection of Heath Robinson type homemade contraptions with wires trailing – set up, and got the job done in no time with very little fuss and not too many takes. The pleasure was all ours, a proper gent."
Always working on new ways to freak out themselves as well as their following, Gummy Stumps are already in the process of ensuring this year is suitably productive, with upcoming releases in the works including a split vinyl LP with fellow Glasgow miscreants Vom, due later in the year on Winning Sperm Party. "We’ll concentrate on getting those out then move on to some of the newer things we’ve been sketching out and hopefully gig them before too long," says Stewart. "We like to move on."