Pizza Crunch – 5 Albums That Shaped Me

Glasgow indie pop band Pizza Crunch have been melding 80’s influences with 00’s indie vibes and their latest single ‘Coma-inducing Gibberish’ is joyous tribute to post-punk and sleek guitar pop with a big side helping of brit-pop. They’re making fans all over right now including Trainspotting star Robert Carlisle, who recently tweeted about the bands latest track, and yours truly, honestly these guys are one of my favourite bands I’ve found in the last year so it’s to hear what shaped their sound (and bonus points for recognising His & Hers for what it is, one of the most important records in British guitar music). So here are the 5 albums that shaped Pizza Crunch:

Bob Dylan – Bringing It All Back Home (Ewan Hearns, Vocals, Guitar)

I think Bob Dylan is generally the reason lyrics are the first thing I notice in a song. If a tune is perfect in every way but has some pishy lyrics I really struggle to get over it. When I was in my early teens I was really into his more folk based albums and loved how he layered lyrics. I think I was about 16/17 when I really started to listen to Bringing It All Back Home because my mum was telling me that when he “went electric” there was a big outcry. Think he got booed at the Isle of Wight festival or something. Choosing an album that shaped my music taste was always going to involve Bob Dylan but I chose this record because it acted as a gateway for me to enjoy the type of music our band now plays. That kind of unrelenting style of Subterranean Homesick Blues was something I had never really got into before and it led me to The Beatles, Chuck Berry, Elvis and eventually the bands I love today. The album still had the beautiful folk tunes and weird imagery that had made me fall in love with him in the first place. The general progression Dylan showed in this record is also something I appreciate in bands like the Arctic Monkeys today. If it wasn’t for this record I might have carried on trying to play Oasis covers and be fronting a band called Definitely Maybe.

The Head on the Door – The Cure (Craig, Bassist)

For as long as I can remember The Cure have been part of my life. The Head on the Door forms some of my earliest musical memories of big family road trips blasting Inbetween Days in particular. I find Robert Smith’s use of melody and his versatility across multiple genres on a single record fascinating. To go from the pop anthem of Inbetween Days to the dark, pounding Kyoto Song into the Spanish guitar driven The Blood in just the opening 3 tracks is unbelievable. Smith’s effortless vocals echo beautifully throughout the entire record from start to finish. Push easily features one of my favourite guitar riffs of all time and Close To Me might be the best pop song ever written. Having only recently picked up the bass, Simon Gallup of The Cure has been a massive inspiration for me in terms of bass line writing. His playing is so prominent in the mix and shows how the bass guitar can be the focal point of a track. A timeless record by my favourite band.

Royal blood by royal blood (Nico, Drums)

I grew up kinda listening to dance music without any real drumming it in so when I started playing the drums (badly) at about 13/14 I had no idea which tunes to learn. I played (badly) in a band for a few years and we only ever played covers of old classic rock bands like Guns N’ Roses etc where the drums were loud and heavy but pretty basic and boring. This Royal Blood album was definitely the first album I listened to and thought “wow those drums are next level”. Some of the beats and fills that Ben Thatcher does throughout the album are insane. They’re so smart and complicated but he makes it sound smooth and easy. The drum break towards the end of Little Monster is one that always springs to mind. I would love to say this album has inspired my drumming technique but it goes way beyond my capabilities so I just stick to the basic and boring beats. Nevertheless if I could choose to take credit for any drum tracks in the world it’d defo be Big Ben Thatcher’s on this album cos he’s unreal.

Loaded by The Velvet Underground (Nathan, Lead Guitar)

I’d spent a few years listening to a different mixture of music from the charts to classic rock before coming across Lou Reed and his Velvet Underground. I first heard this album at about age 16, and until then I wouldn’t say music had made much of an impact upon my life as of yet. I think it was the pull of the more commercial but brilliant songs like Sweet Jane and Rock and Roll that first caught my attention. Then it was the honesty of the music which stood out to me after the initial listens, the sort of primitive simplicity that permeated throughout made it seem that anyone could do it, if you know what I mean. The same goes for Lou Reed’s singing and lyrics too and it would be safe to say I have him to thank for opening the door to the plethora of amazing music that I have access to and have heard since this album. When I’m often stuck trying to write my own music these days, it always helps to revisit Loaded as a reminder of what a well-constructed song sounds like. 

His N Hers Pulp (All of Us)

If we were to choose a record that has had an impact on all four of us it has to be a Pulp album or Arctic Monkeys album. The Arctic Monkeys route is hard because we’d all debate which one to do so His N Hers it is. Although Different Class and Common People broke them after 15 years of obscurity, I love how His N Hers keeps that kind of creepy, minory drawl that had been at the forefront of their struggle to make it big. Combined with the almost pathetic adolescent story in Babies and the huge synth chorus in Do You Remember the First Time, this is an album we all take inspiration from. People talk about how Definitely Maybe by Oasis is one of the best albums ever but it wasn’t even the best album of 1994.

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