Inevitable Daydream are always happy to see me. Maybe it’s because I usually write glowing pieces about them (this will be another one), or maybe it’s just because one of the best bands in Britain are just really nice m8s.
We meet again at The Windmill, Brixton, on the 27th of May. The Daydream boys, from Lewisham by way of Kent, recently released perhaps the hardest rock album of the year, I Will Get To The Sky On These Strong Legs, through M8s Records. It meshes stoner metal, dream pop, grunge and just plain hard rock in a thrilling journey to Valhalla, and the energy always transpires in their shows, three sweaty boys banging the shit out of their weapons. According to axe-man Jack Higham, “It came completely naturally, I guess. When I think about all my favourite albums, it feels like a journey with highs, lows, twists and turns, which ultimately comprises a little universe all in its own.”
It’s a record that mixes newer songs with material rehashed and beefed up from the early days of the band; originally intended for a four-track EP, the band were encouraged by M8s Records to drop a full album. Mixing in songs from the earliest days of the band, written by original drummer Tim (now of Zilinski and Lil Yee Boys), a “sense of constant progression and ascension” is achieved. The album is always lurching forward, always in a state of motion; talking to them and watching the boys play, you know there’s nothing they love more than God-given rock & roll.
They smoke weed, play Counter-Strike, want to play with the Melvins (“I feel like they’d get it”), and think Kendrick Lamar is the most important thing in music right now. Pre-gig rituals involve blunts, pints, and nerves. Post-gig rituals involve blunts, pints, and jubilation. The sense of comradery among the band and their sisters and brothers is sometimes overwhelming; looking in, one feels like an outsider amongst a secret circle. But it’s a circle comprised of m8s, and anyone can be a m8. Or be part of M8s Records.
M8s Records, operating chiefly in Margate, have just announced their fifth release in six months. In the words of co-founder Tuli Tormey, her brother Eric “was thinking about finding a platform for bands he was recording, since none of them fitted into the hype obsessed UK music industry. He was talking to me about wanting to maybe start a CD label (high quality, low cost) and I suggested naming it after the festival we put on the previous summer: M8s Fest. It took a few months to get everything sorted, and very luckily it all coincided with Fuoco‘s ‘Kape Kinevil‘ EP being finished.”
M8s Records’ output includes a comic to coincide with Bigman Solution’s ‘Warhorn’ single, and a short 3D film accompanied by an anonymous soundtrack, allowing each artist to express their own message in as many ways possible.
“At first we had to put in a few hundred pounds of our own money, but it’s gone very well as each release has paid for itself. We don’t actually fund recordings, as the bands pay for that; but when they use Eric for the recording, we make sure it’s at a very affordable price for them. A lot of work goes into it, and we don’t take any money for ourselves but the reward for us is having each release made and heard by other people. We’re happy as long as we can continue what we’re doing, allowing it to grow organically.”
‘Organic’ is a word that Jack also uses when describing his M8s. When asked on their approach he says, “For one we didn’t have to sign anything! There’s just a distinct lack of bullshit in the way they operate, everything is very organic and natural. All I can really say further is, it really is just founded upon mates just wanting to help each other create beautiful things, it’s the genuine passion and love for the music which keeps it pumping.”
After a couple of glasses of rum and a smoke with the band, they play their set; it’s not the biggest audience (I’ve seen them play bigger shows), but it’s a captivated one. They burn through the entire album, each song played with the ferocity and might they deserve. For the closer ‘LSD Over Tokyo’, bassist Connor Lang passes his mic to the crowd, allowing everyone to scream the lyrics along. It’s a small gesture, but one that encompasses the feeling of the band, the scene, and the label.
M8s Records’ slogan isn’t DIY, it’s DIO – Do It Ourselves. Another small gesture and co-optation, but a significant one that may or may not make welcome waves across the nationwide scene. Or not. In the meantime, the m8s and the Daydream boys are just here to bring God-given rock & roll to the few who are up for the ride.
When asked for advice for other young musicians, Jack says, “Don’t play music with then intention of gaining success, do it ‘cos it makes you happy bro! I feel like I could give better advice if I was actually successful.”
Inevitable Daydream’s new album ‘I Will Get To The Sky On These Strong Legs’ is out now on M8s Records. Purchase a copy here.
Photo Credit: Avalon Hale-Thomson