08 March 2018 (released)
08 March 2018
Alternative rock veterans The Filthy Tongues have completed work on their dark new album.
Ex-Goodbye Mr Mackenzie trio Martin Metcalfe, Fin Wilson and Derek Kelly are set to release the follow-up to 2016's Jacob's Ladder next month.
The Scottish outfit's frontman Metcalfe — who has co-written four tracks on The Skids' top 30 comeback album Burning Cities — told Music News that sophomore album Back To Hell is expected to drop on Record Store Day, April 21st.
"The album's finished," he said. "It's in production now and although it's been pushed back over the last 12 months because of working with The Skids and things like that it should be out then."
Metcalfe said his latest opus represents the second part in a trilogy partly inspired by ideas contained in Irvine Welsh's 1993 junkie novel Trainspotting, which was set in the band's home city of Edinburgh.
"We've really doubled down on what we were doing on the first album," he declared.
"As soon as we did the first album and saw the cover we thought, 'This is a world we're creating here,' and I think what we want to do is expand that world.
"We've made a loose decision to create a trilogy round about the atmosphere, characters and the backdrop of the first record.
"So the second one is in the middle of the story and we're going to do another album — the final one of three — that'll pull us out of this world.
"The Edinburgh that's in there is not really in a way about a city, it's more just the life that we led through the '80s.
"It's our kind of Trainspotting, but on a different scheme or street. Trainspotting could've been anywhere — it was a surprise that it was Edinburgh.
"People didn't really connect that life to the city, they think of it as an affluent, stuck-up sort of place. But of course there are worlds within worlds and we're really just trying to tell our story.
"It's not like a tub-thumping 'we-love-Edinburgh' type relationship we've got with this record. It's a look at what was going on underneath, in the shadows."
Metcalfe found fame with Goodbye Mr Mackenzie — who included future Garbage star Shirley Manson on keyboards — after they scored top 40 successes with their single The Rattler and debut album Good Deeds And Dirty Rags in 1989.
However he stepped back from the limelight after they split in 1996, focusing on guitar duties in his next band Isa & The Filthy Tongues, which featured American singer Stacey Chavis.
Metcalfe and ex-Mackenzies cohorts Fin Wilson (bass) and Derek Kelly (drums) decided to go it alone in 2014, releasing the Isa-less Filthy Tongues' doom-laden debut in 2016.
And the singer says the band have taken their Nick Cave-influenced brand of fire and brimstone goth-blues to the next level on the new record.
"It's obviously not Sisters Of Mercy but it's more in that seam than what we were doing with Isa & The Filthy Tongues, and is about five shades blacker musically than anything we did in Goodbye Mr Mackenzie," he declared.
"The Mackenzies had a lot of fairly dark lyrics but the music was a bit lighter. This is a complete immersion in a darkness. I suppose it's a study of it."
Along with his Filthy Tongues work, Metcalfe also tours his potent songbook with his side project The Fornicators, where he's backed by ex-Mackenzies producer Terry Adams on guitar, Chris Tracey (bass) and Asim Rasool (cajon).
"That wasn't meant to be anything significant, but it kind of built," he said.
"It really started because I was thinking of doing a solo album a while back but it never really transpired.
"It just became a fun thing where we could play any of the back catalogue. We weren't tied down to trying to promote a new thing or anything like that and it's a lot more loose than The Filthy Tongues.
"Having a programmed set is the way that most bands operate, whereas we can alter what we're doing at any point. It's not quite as serious, it's just a bit more free."
Now in his mid-50s, Metcalfe says he hopes to resume studio activities with Adams in the future on a project away from his main band whose material is self-produced.
The pair are appearing with The Fornicators at Beat Generator Live! in Dundee tonight (March 9th), ahead of The Filthy Tongues playing shows next month at London's Dublin Castle (April 19th), Brighton's Prince Albert (21st) and Kirkcaldy Windsor (27th).