Benefits have shared ‘Thump’, the latest track to emerge from the Teesside punks.
The new release, which follows on January’s ‘Meat Teeth’, sees the industrial outfit ruminating on recent political turmoil in the UK and how this wider societal upheaval can trigger anxieties in our own personal lives.
Over piercing, industrial electro, frontman Kingsley Hall says: “I want to be strong, to stand up for myself, not not break down in the face of wealth and status.“
The video, meanwhile, was shot by filmmaker Eddy Maynard and filmed in the land surrounding Holme House Prison in Stockton-on-Tees.
Describing the track, Hall told Rolling Stone UK: “Thump was written and recorded in a hurry and a flurry in August. It’s based around a relentless electro thud created by [band instrumentalist] Robbie and the lyrics try to tie together all the loose ends of a hectic and difficult summer, from both a political and personal perspective. It’s about your confidence being knocked and anxieties being triggered in a time of turmoil.”
He added: “Maybe it’s influenced a little from the way our live shows have developed this year. I think people come to see us with an expectation that it’s going to be a brutal experience, all shouting, hardcore and noise…but the reality is slightly different. All those things happen, but there’s also unexpected moments where we talk directly to the audience about our own anxiety and mental health, before breaking into a 90s garage beat, a heavy drone or some Berghain techno.”
But deeper influences are at play too. Hall explained how his own reaction to his father’s death also made its way into the track.
“It’s been a difficult summer from a personal point of view. My dad died unexpectedly in August, and I’m still struggling to get my head around it,” he said.
“The Queen died around the same time and in a way, it was as if the grief I needed to go through had been taken away from me. Myself and my family were surrounded by this odd, colossal national mourning and our own personal grief felt insignificant. I felt guilty for not being able to feel the way I should have been feeling.
“I can’t really describe it, it was – and still is – just properly, properly rubbish. Writing is cathartic for me, whether that’s about frustrations with the state of the country or from things more directly relating to my life, so I put elements of this mess of emotions into the song: the fear of getting old and jealousy of youth; the anxiety of feeling permanently out of my depth; imposter syndrome. We tried to juxtapose it all with a feeling of hope for the future. My dad was always hopeful. But then we abruptly cut off that feeling right at the end. Spoilsports.”
Next month, meanwhile, will see Benefits head out on an extensive UK tour. Check out tour dates in full below.
18/11 Glasgow Stereo
19/11 Sunderland Pop Recs
20/11 Southampton Joiners
21/11 Exeter Cavern
22/11 Bristol Strange Brew
23/11 London Oslo
24/11 Nottingham Bodega
25/11 Manchester Yes
26/11 Leeds Brudenell Social Club