UK-France duo The Noise Who Runs has released the single ‘Takes a Long Cold Look and Then The Kitchen Sink’ – the impossible, illegitimate child of solo album-era Syd Barrett and immediately post-Talking Heads David Byrne. The Bandcamp edition also features the B-side ‘More Beautiful Perhaps (LHT REMIX)’, created by Left Handed Tendencies (LHT).
The Noise Who Runs was formed by songwriter-performer Ian Pickering of 90s British trip hop outfit Sneaker Pimps, who co-wrote such hits as ‘Spin Spin Sugar’, ‘6 Underground’ and ‘Tesko Suicide’. He is also known for his involvement in Front Line Assembly. Pickering churned out this new material over the past two years simultaneous to working on the new Sneaker Pimps album.
This new single comes hot on the trail of ‘Beautiful Perhaps’, the anthemic lead track from their ‘Preteretrospective’ LP, scheduled for release on April 7. This album arrives four years after Pickering launched this project after relocating from his home town of Hartlepool (north-east of England) to Lille, France. Today, The Noise Who Runs is a duo of Pickering with Brazilian-born French guitarist Felipe Goes.
The Noise Who Runs is a direct, literal translation of ‘O bruit qui cour’, a French phrase meaning ‘gossip’. It was also the name of Pickering’s favourite restaurant, where the ideas for this project fell into place.
‘Takes a long cold look and then the kitchen sink’, penned in 1996, is as timely now with the ever-increasing insanity of populist politicians. Less a testament to how timeless writing can be and more to how an entire generation has failed to change the world for the better, leaving a catastrophic mess for Millennials and Generation Z to deal with, the lyrics also point to the inadequacy of political systems and desperate corrupt pandering to big business, which actively encourages destruction.
“Every TNWR song has a personal story in it on some level; usually it’s a composite or gestalt of various people rather than anyone specific. But the bigger, wider panorama always the main thing. This is a lot gentler, musically, than ‘Beautiful Perhaps’, but easily as abrasive and damning in its lyrical content,” says Ian Pickering.
“Really, it concerns itself with the detachment from the real lives, the real suffering of people, in the approach and the decisions taken in big business and politics, while addressing the kind of mentality that felt the need to ‘Check Your Privilege’ a few years back simply as a way of defending that privilege by refuting it. By the same spurious ‘keep them on the platform’ online reckoning, I would simultaneously be a pink Labrador, the fourth Doctor Who’s third companion and about to die of 10,000 heart attacks shortly after 3pm next Good Friday.”
The new ‘Preteretrospective’ album follows the ‘These Will Be Your Gods’ EP, released in January, and ‘High Time in Lo-Fi’, their third EP released in mid-2022. During the lockdown stalemate of 2020, the duo released two EPs – ‘The First of Two Sides of a Double-headed Coin’ and ‘The Other Side of the Same Double-headed Coin’.
The Noise Who Runs‘ is rooted in the shared principles and approach to making music of punk/new wave and early hip-hop – both the mentality and the message. This brand of indie-electronic rock is heavily shaped by the 1970’s experimental electronic scene in Sheffield, the 1990’s guitar-house mix of the Manchester scene, Primal Scream’s guitar-electronic sound after 1997’s ‘Vanishing Point’, and 2000’s XTRMNTR.
Pickering’s role in Sneaker Pimps is rooted in a lifelong friendship with founding member Liam Howe and Chris Corner. Having written and worked with Howe and Corner on various projects throughout their teens, he became Sneaker Pimps’ lyricist shortly after recruiting Kelli Dayton for the debut record ‘Becoming X’.
As of March 14, the new single is available via Bandcamp, Spotify, Apple Music and elsewhere. The full ‘Preteretrospective’ album will be released on April 7.
Written by Ian Pickering
Produced by The Noise Who Runs
Recorded, engineered and produced by Claudio Spural (Mauco Records)
Additional production, mixing and mastering by Colin Cameron at The Cell Studios
Felipe Goes – electric guitars and keyboards
Ian Pickering – vocals, electric guitar and keyboards
Artist photos by Théo Valenduc
Other images created by Ian Pickering with additional photography and video clips courtesy of Dreamstime