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Ronnie Kerswell
Ronnie Kerswell 4 May 2007 at 18.36

Charger may have been 'missing in action' for the past four years, but their return is sure to give 'bottom-end' a whole new meaning, as Rock Sound discovers...

"I'd rather be a cult band than 'flavour of the month' where people forget about you," states flame-hared axeman Jay Woodroffe.

Considering Charger's latest hefty offering, it's unlikely the Stoke sluggers will be forgotten in a hurry. 'Spill Your Guts' marks a return to mammoth basslines and tar-thick riffery, but with last album 'Confessions Of A Man (Mad Enough To Live Amongst Beasts)' released through Peaceville in 03, the effort has been a long time coming.

Since then, members have got married, left and re-joined, with Tom O'Brien replaced by original bass-slinger Jez Leslie and Danny Unett recently stepping into long-serving axeman Jim Palmer's robust shoes. Despite being installed for the three years since Tim Machin vacated the mic, 'Spill Your Guts' also provides frontman Martin Ives with a first opportunity to make his recorded mark on the band.

"Anyone can scream - only a few can scream, grunt and shout well; Martin is on top of his game," says a chuffed Jay. "There's some dark shit going on with his vocals. He's got great command of language, writing about his general distaste for what goes on in life - it's pretty nihilistic and Martin's got a dry sense of humour, so his take on things is very amusing. I just think, 'What a twisted fuck for writing this shit!'"

While 'Confessions...' took a few weeks to track, 'Spill Your Guts' was recorded live in three days at Lizard Lounge in Stoke-On-Trent with Alex Jockel at the helm.

"We tried to get first takes to keep the spontaneity there - we didn't even double-track the guitars! On the Monday, Martin got drunk out of his head, did all the vocals in a few hours, and was sick in the studio," says Jay. "He was staying at my house, went out and got ratted and had the police bring him home, but not because he was doing anything wrong; they were worried he'd get mugged!"

Well, it wouldn't be a Charger album without some kind of involvement from the Filth! Speaking of which, the album's artwork has taken on a more 'adult' theme - gone are Moomins, globes, and geometric patters to be replaced by gussets... "Martin put a post on Myspace saying we wanted pictures of naked chicks to put on the cover and girls just sent pictures to us!" Jay laughs. "Only me and Martin saw the raw material - he sent me various emails of a questionable nature!"

Well, you don't get more bottom-end than that!

Know It All
Line-Up: Martin Ives (vocals), Jay Woodroffe (guitar), Danny Unett (guitar), Jez Leslie (bass), Paul Sanderson (drums)
From: Stoke
Sounds Like: Heavy-ass riffs to make you shit your pants - think Cavity's 'Supercollider' dragged through filth and thrash and you're almost there...
Current Release: 'Spill Your Guts' (album, Undergroove. Out May 21)
Download This: 'Cult Verses C**t'

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