It can be very hit-and-miss when it comes to modern hard rock or any genre, for that matter. But if you work your way through the “sludge,” well, then you just may find your way to the good shit! Like The Jailbirds, for instance, whose brand new single “Sludge” we are helping to unveil today.
What can you say about riffs like this other than the fact that they are very “sludgy?” The Mississauga, Ontario quartet is restoring the spirit of the sludge rock of the early 1990s that really helped usher in a whole new era of rock. While Nirvana and Pearl Jam operated with more of a punk rock spirit, Soundgarden and Alice In Chains were borrowing from the Black Sabbath playbook to concoct some of the dirtiest, most thunderous riffs of the era.
That’s the level on which The Jailbirds are operating, with “Sludge” originally just a working title until the band members realized that it was the perfect title for what they were going for with this particular track. The title is also an appropriate metaphor for the toxic behaviour singer and guitarist Myke Penney mentions in the lyrics. It’s a warning that there’s sludge in all of us, and unless you maintain some control over it, it will control you and make you into the ugly person you’re trying so desperately not to be.
Describing how the song came to be, Penney says:
“This song was one that I redid the lyrics for about 15 times. I just couldn’t get out of my own way for it, I thought it wasn’t catchy enough or something. But for some reason I circled back to the original way I had it (laughs) it was great all along! This has really taught me to trust my initial instincts and ideas. I’ve had teachers say something like that to me before, but it never really sunk in until this song was finished.”
The Jailbirds have collected many accolades along the way since forming, including being named the “Best Rock” band at their local 2018 Mississauga Music Awards after the release of their debut EP, The Black River. But they may just be hitting their stride now, with the band having found the right lineup with the recent additions of drummer Kevin Costa and multi-instrumentalist Hayden Trafford. You add that to the power and force of Penney and bassist Liam Hills, and you got a unit capable of making songs as memorable and extraordinary as “Sludge.” With bands like The Jailbirds around, it’s nice to know that we still have some groups with the soul and the character of an illustrious era gone by.
09/09 – Brampton, ON @ Rose Theater (w/ Harm & Ease)
09/10 – Mississauga, ON @ REC Room, Mississauga Music Week
09/16 – Mississauga Music Awards Show
09/17 – Cooksville, ON @ Gussapolooza (Festival)
09/24 – Hamilton, ON @ Clifford Brewing (w/ The Barrettas)
09/30 – Kingston, ON @ Overtime Sports Bar