How classic Simpsons gag ‘The Raven’ inspired Brixton Alley’s new indie-punk EP

How classic Simpsons gag ‘The Raven’ inspired Brixton Alley’s new indie-punk EP

Words by Tammy Walters

The three-piece couldn’t keep their hands off it.

Melbourne is welcoming a new member to their music family. From the UK, indie-punks Brixton Alley are now calling Melbourne home, having relocated early this year following a successful line of shows in 2019.

“We came over last year, played a couple of shows and fell in love with the city. We loved the music scene and met some amazing people and wanted to continue that into 2020,” says frontman Jonny Magro.

Magro along with bandmates, brothers Ben Wells (bass/vocals) and Alex Wells (drums), hail from medieval market town Stratford-upon-Avon in England’s West Midlands, a place where their music didn’t quite calibrate.

“It’s not that we didn’t fit; it’s more where we were based, and the live music scene over here is more vibrant and more suited to our style of music. People really get into it over here. At home, the crowds are more reserved but Aussies love to let loose and that’s what we are about,” explains Magro.

“The live music scene over here is the biggest difference. People are going out to watch smaller bands and we think it’s bloody great. The venues all hold their own little quirks and stories which we love.”

Since their first hurrah in Melbourne, the boys have ventured into some of our most iconic live music venues including The Gasometer, Grace Darling Hotel, Stay Gold, Last Chance Rock & Roll Bar as well as The Workers Club. Now they’re adding St Kilda’s favourite The Espy to the list to unleash their sophomore EP, Nevermore. The record follows on from the success of their 2016 debut, Secrets, which captured their multi-blend of driving indie rock’n’roll and buzzing rap lines.

“We’ve come a long way since Secrets, as a band. They were some of the first songs we ever wrote. In fact, we had ‘Simple Sally’ before we had a name … Nevermore has been a real project for us, and it’s the first time we’ve put out a body of work. We wanted to make it tell a story and at the same time show off our songwriting techniques,” Magro explains.

“Our music comes strongly from our influences and we have all grown up listening to ska, punk, indie, rock and rap so when we write a song there are always elements of those.”

The Simpsons and Edgar Allan Poe enthusiasts, that chirping “nevermore” is no illusion. The title does, in fact, relate to the infamous poem and the Treehouse of Horrors take-off, with the EP contextually drawing clear parallels to the band’s origin story.

“We bought a skeleton raven in a cage from Aldi on Halloween for about £3. It had been sitting collecting dust in a corner and as we were sat down thinking of names for the EP it went off, shouting ‘nevermore, nevermore’,” explains Magro. “Then it got us thinking about the poem and how it actually fits quite well – how you can’t hold on to everything forever as it will only bring you suffering.

“It’s like how staying in a little village is going to drive you insane when there is a whole world out there. And if it wasn’t for copyright, Bart as the Raven would have definitely been the cover.”

Nevermore is currently circulating through Apple Music, Spotify and BNDR Music and will be played in full at their upcoming EP launch party. The show will also be live-streamed worldwide via BNDR.

“I’m sure our Mums will be glued to the screen,” laughs Magro.

It’s also free entry, with The Mean Times as supports, so be sure to get along and welcome Brixton Alley into our music home.

Brixton Alley launch their new EP, Nevermore, at The Espy on Friday March 13. The show’s free – find out more via the Facebook event.