HOLY POPES (ex-80s Matchbox) Announce Debut Self-Titled Album for January 2023

By Dom Smith
By November 19, 2022 Culture, News

Bristol-based post-garage/punk trio HOLY POPES are delighted to announce that their debut self-titled album HOLY POPES will be released on 27th January 2023 via Hull-based independent label Man Demolish Records (NEWMEDS).
The three-piece will be playing a special album release show in Bristol at The Golden Lion on 27th January 2023 in celebration.

To round out the news, the band have also revealed a mind-bending video for new single ‘Pencils’ which is released on 18th November 2022.

Another jarring, staccato spear of angry post-garage/punk from the trio, ‘Pencils’ is about the complexities of the male experience within relationships, and how patriarchal masculinity won’t allow men to express multi-faceted layers of emotion.

Commenting on the subject, guitarist Dominic Knight (ex-The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster) says: “This repression often leads to toxic behaviours in relationships, and can easily progress into emotional or physical abuse. By rejecting patriarchal masculinity, we can not only help to end misogyny and sexism, but also provide kindness and compassion to ourselves and the men around us.”

“Music is so intertwined with the personal it’s hard not to write about your own life experiences. Love, loss and breakups are such common themes, seemingly without end. So many songs about relationships are written from the male gaze, and if you unpick them ever so slightly, there is a heavy layer of misogyny. Coercion, manipulation and even stalking are painted in a positive light, whilst on the other side, you have blame and self pity. We can all be influenced by popular culture, and the way we, as men, frame relationships and women in general within music, is at the very least, problematic.”

The video for the single was inspired by Spike Jonze’s video for Phardcyde’s ‘Drop’ and self-produced by the band. “His ability to transform simple ideas into captivating music videos has been a driving force for my own work,” says Knight. “One-shot videos are my favourite to make, and ‘Pencils’ may have been the most fun to date. We wanted to pay homage in a tongue-in-cheek, British, low-budget way, and I think we may just have managed it thanks to a wet Sunday at the seaside and an audience of bemused pensioners.”

The track is the second to be taken from the forthcoming self-titled album, following on from their visceral anti-capitalist debut single ‘DBT’ which showcased the band’s twitching, erratic take on post-garage punk for the first time.

Further new music and live dates TBA.

Debut album HOLY POPES is released 27th January 2023 via Man Demolish Records

Live Dates:

01.12.22 – Bristol – Crofters Rights
27.01.23 – Bristol – Golden Lion (Album launch)