This journey starts on a rainy summer day in 2011. I was locked inside, laying in bed, slightly hungover, watching the world outside my room through my Twitter-feed, while listening to damp heavy raindrops dripping down the window. Suddenly I come across a link to a video with what to me was a completely new band called Sulk.
What I then hear when I press play are John Squire-esque guitars, Suede-choirs, a deep bass over a heavy hitting drum, and an overall sound that could be taken straight outta Nowhere by Ride. It was a mash-up of everything I loved. Mixed together it felt new and fresh. I was mesmerized. The song I was listening to was called Wishes. And I kept listening to it while the leaves switched colour, and those raindrops turned into snowflakes.
The more I listened to Wishes the heavier became my addiction. I needed more, and I needed stronger dosage. I told my friends about this new band and when I realized that they too loved them, the stronger became our friendship. And the stronger became my eagerness to hear more from Sulk. A while after Wishes was released second single Back In Bloom hit the shelves. And me oh my, this was just as good. I bought both singles on 7 vinyl and I even got one of them signed by all band members, as a gift from a lovely lady I saw at the time. Everyone in my circle of trustees knew I was hooked, and there was really no way out but to keep the consumption flow going.
I started searching the net for material. I listened to remixes of the songs, read article after article, followed the band on Facebook and Twitter, watched all the videos I could find from gigs and also from the earlier constellation of the line-up when the band was called The Ruling Class.
Days, weeks, and months went by and all while I was waiting for Sulk to release their long awaited debut album, life happened.
I started to question why no record label had picked them up. Is the music I prefer and listen to that dead? I started questioning my own musical taste. Was I wrong? But how could I be since not only did all my friends love them (the ones which have a musical taste I agree with), they also got the approval from my other peers. Not the ones I have a pint and listen to music with, but the ones that write the music I listen to while I have a pint.
But as 2012 became 2013 Sulk announced that their debut album, titled Graceless, would be released on April 15. My feelings to this surprised me. I did not feel the happiness and relief I had believed I would. Rather I felt a feeling of emptiness and fear. Is this it? Is the journey over now? And what if the record is shit? Obviously I pre-ordered the record, both on vinyl and CD, and when I came home after work on Monday, April 15, postman Pat had delivered it to me. I opened the same window I had been staring out of when I first heard the band in the summer of 2011, almost 20 months ago. This time the sun was shining. I pressed play.
So was it any good? Well, that you’re gonna have to figure out for yourselves. But I will tell you this, it was well worth the journey getting there.