Punk lifer Chris Rowley – he of UK riot grrrl legends Huggy Bear – is still not-so-quietly pumping out quality racket on the reg. Now with Adulkt Life, the band he formed in 2019 with Male Bonding’s John Arthur Webb and Kevin Hendrick, as well as young-gun drummer Sonny Barrett, Rowley’s as incendiary as ever, delivering furious screed through the kind of world-weary, grot-smeared lens that can only come with half a lifetime of endless discontent. Age has only enhanced the frontman’s frustrations – where adolescent turbulence once reigned, midlife incredulity gnashes.
Following Book of Curses, their well-received debut for What’s Your Rupture?, Adulkt Life return with a new track for the Girlsville compilation Paid By Rock!, which we’re stoked to premiere on our humble site…
It feels impossible not to front-load a discussion of Adulkt Life without discussing Huggy Bear, a band both legendary and life-changing for some of us. There would be no way to avoid it regardless of Adulkt Life’s sound or output, but there’s a thrill to hearing Chris Rowley’s snarl again, a thrill to once again hear that angry vocal delivery. Book of Curses was a record that helped purge and exorcise the wearying hell of 2020.
So it’s thrilling to see Adulkt Life appear on Paid by Rock! As anyone who’s put together a mixtape (i.e. all of us) will tell you, a solid comp is a tougher endeavour than it seems. Girlsville have aced the method: both last year’s Be Gay, Do Crime! and Paid by Rock! are not just solid but superior. Praise be to Girlsville!
Adulkt Life are joined by some of the best punk genre defiers playing these days, with Lithics, Star Party, Blues Lawyer, Germ Party and Fun Time Objects among them. There are dance mixes, there are demos, there are covers: Paid by Rock! is a mixtape from that one friend you have with impeccable taste.
Rowley’s presence adds to that sacred mixtape energy. He’s not just here with Adulkt Life; he’s responsible for the artwork and for an insert that’s more manifesto, typewritten and seething with intensity. The track itself is an excellent extension of what Adulkt Life has been doing since its start, and you’d do well to pick up a copy of Paid by Rock! while you have the chance.
Find the full release on August 6 and enjoy “Lower Dens” below.