If there was a single world to describe the electro-punk outfit CLT DRP it would most probably be ‘provocative’. Every single concentrated element of the Brighton collective screams confrontation; their music is savage, they defy genre norms, frank sexuality is a vital competent of their outspoken message and if you’re not quite sure how to pronounce their namesake, just use your imagination.
However, the band aren’t just an act trying to force nonconformity and controversy in a fraudulent attempt in getting attention. Far from it even. In fact, CLT DRP may be one of of the most culturally and musically crucial bands to emerge in recent years - an authentic powerhouse of empowerment and noise.
The product of the consistently volatile and chaotic Brighton punk scene, CLT DRP are an unapologetic brash rebuttal to dull-as-dishwater punk and social norms that restrict the discourse of topics that require frank discussion. Through a trifecta of glitching walls of sound, battered drums and unstrained lyricism, the South Coast trio swiftly seized the attention of peers far and wide with their debut two-track release, all before blowing away such captured minds with whirlwind shows of pure punk anarchy.
Yet, their absolutely brutal and confident sound serves as a mere vessel for their ethos, one that promotes modern feminism, empowerment for womxn and positive sexuality, all whilst demanding the discussion of such topics. Through a massive mash-up of bands such as Peaches, Ho99o9, Meshuggah, Brutus, The Algorithm and even Death Grips, CLT DRP demand the normalisation of subjects that need discussing in mainstream culture via the means of obscene music.
Their namesake may be firmly imprinted in scene legend, but soon CLT DRP will have the national scene at large at their heels, something they will achieve with their forthcoming full-length debut Without The Eyes. Released August 28th via Small Pond (Natalie Evans, Bitch Falcon, Wild Cat Strike), the record see’s CLT DRP charge forward, talons out in an urgent attack against the patriarchy. Whereas punk has typically been perceived as boisterous and confident, Without The Eyes is something new, important and critically needed in a whole plethora of ways. This may sound like a huge claim, but if you've heard the recent singles 'Kill For Nothing', 'Where The Boys Are' or 'Like Father' you would understand perfectly.
With the record soon disrupting air en-mass, we got in touch with vocalist Annie Dorrett to chat about the band, sexuality, feminism, the record and a whole lot more.
This year has been wild but how are you guys faring up?
Annie: "We are okay! Despite COVID-19 and all hell breaking loose."
For those first encountering you, how would you describe the sound and ethos of CLT DRP?
Annie: "The sound is definitely a little wild, I guess you could say our ethos is to be inclusive and confrontational."
Your debut Without The Eyes is now on the cusp of release, how are you feeling about it finally seeing the light of day after the release was postponed?
Annie: "I can’t tell you how long it’s felt for all of us to keep it cooped up, we just want it to be out there now. Especially since it was supposed to come out in May, it feels like we have been sitting on it forever."
Your debut is your first release on the Brighton based Small Pond Records. What drew you to signing to the label?
Annie: "They were always extremely supportive of our music and lovely people to work with. The community surrounding the label is lovely as well so it’s been great. Plus we got a killer album out of it too."
Speaking of Brighton, how has your hometown’s scene embraced and reacted to your music?
Annie: "We’ve been so lucky to have such a great reaction from our music scene. I don’t think any of us expected this project to go so well or have such lovely people support it. Even the name has kind of become normalized over the past few years. It’s funny watching people get used to it now because, at the start of this, it was such a cluster fuck of different opinions surrounding the name."
The album art of Without The Eyes is set to certainly get some attention, what’s the story behind it?
Annie: :One of our friend’s Ace who co-runs a zine called ‘Unpretty’ is the most incredible photographer. She captures the body so well and I wanted her to do something for us and showcase her work. She blew it out of the park with this one. We couldn’t have been more happy with the result."
The topic of sexuality is a common theme within your music, could you detail that?
Annie: "I like to write openly about female sexuality because I don’t think it’s spoken about enough in music from a female perspective. There is so much shame and stigma around female sexuality and I like to play around with that in my lyrics. It’s important for womxn to hear other womxn speak openly about sex rather than hearing it from men. It’s not about being crude for the sake of it, but about being able to take back the narrative."
Feminism and empowerment for womxn is also a vital aspect of your music. What’re your thoughts on the current feminist narrative?
Annie: "I mean this is a massive topic, but I think right now something I’ve been trying to be better at personally is practising intersectional feminism. Mainstream feminist media is mostly focused on the problems of white, cis, wealthy women, and that needs to change fast. I’m not interested in a world where feminism only includes an already privileged caste of people. I tend to write from a very personal place most of the time, and I try to be empowering but I also like showing that it is okay to mess up or make mistakes. We live in a capitalist society and we all suffer from unconscious bias, it doesn’t mean we can’t unlearn these things and show more empathy towards each other. Anyway, that’s where I’m at personally and that’s just a little insight into some of the writing on this album."
Without The Eyes is utterly fearless and unapologetic, were you confident when writing and creating the record?
Annie: "Firstly, Thanks! I’m not sure if confident is the right word, but we were definitely excited. We worked with two different producers Joe Caple & Toby May on different tracks so that was cool having different people around to put their input in. I think we are confident now with the final product and just looking forward to getting it out there."
Your live sets have quickly become something of borderline legend in the scene. What’s your approach to playing live and how will tracks from the record be incorporated into your live set?
Annie: "I don’t think we necessarily have an approach ha.. I think we all just get a good kick from playing live and I guess it shows? We tried to capture the live sound on this record, and hopefully when people here that will come across. It’s a hard thing to balance."
Everything is a bit uncertain at the moment, but what’s the plan for next year?
Annie: "I think we’re just going with the flow like everybody else, and trying to plan ahead but there’s nothing too certain at the moment."
Finally, what do you want people to experience and feel when listening to the new record?
Annie: "Ahh, all the emotions. There’s a lot of different elements to it, I just hope people enjoy it and take away maybe something from the words or sounds that they never thought about before. I also hope womxn listen to it and just feel heard, and that their anger feels validated."
Without The Eyes is released August 28th via Small Pond. Pre-order the record here.