Single Review: The Qwarks -‘Throne of Your Grace’

Sometime in two-thousand-nineteen-ninety-eighty-X, in a studio in a secret location, the forces of England’s southern bohemian beaches joined Snapped Ankles, Wire, and ‘Ashes to Ashes’ co-writers to fuss up a new type of noise. They were proud of this moment, proud of the sound. So pleased in fact were they with what they produced, that they decided to burn all recordings. Instead they created a map, a sonic blueprint of the song that never was. They hurriedly buried it deep on the pebbles of Brighton and dispersed to their own separate decades.

None of this has ever been told. Mostly because none of this happened. But if it did and if that blueprint existed, it’s been dug up and studied by The Quarks. Its illegible scribbles have been followed as close as possible without a recording or reference to head to, and ‘Throne of Your Grace’ is the outcome. It’s dusty, calamitous, messy. It’s full of atonal pinches and squalor. Noise detracts from the tightness, manic vocals hide the quips, its immaturity masks all its know-how. In three minutes and 30, we run Pixies to Primus with lashings of scatter and puerile.

More surprisingly still it’s got hooks. Verses are stuffed full of agro guitar lines that seem meant for another song entirely. Bridges and choruses fight for their position in the queue, and one by one all parts burst on outward. As snares, hats and cymbals tack their splash and abandon to the body of bass sounds and busy, it’s like the lines of communication while writing the song got confused and delayed and distorted. Yet somehow, by luck or by accident, every sound wraps another with enough sticky back plastic to keep the whole fine mess together.

‘Throne of Your Grace’ is a snide slice of post-punk and anti-pop made by outsiders. Pot shots are taken at royal lines of promoters, gatekeepers and cul-de-sac tastemakers. And if the quips don’t dig in with their sneer and their sarcasm, then the ‘tude and sonics chew through them. It might not endear them to their hometown promoters, but it’s fun hearing them leapfrog on over.