‘Crucify’ by 10 O’Clock Chemical is a subtle and penetrating metaphorical exploration of the Passion. To singer and songwriter Rhys Oakes it’s a framework to creatively explore the nature of toxic interpersonal relationships. It’s about the relentless self-sacrifice of the abused to appease the abuser, and it’s about the lasting psychological scars that ensue.
Set to a bombastic synth arrangement that recalls Depeche Mode on an intergalactic jam with MJ or Prince, it’s an anthemic new entry into 10 O’Clock Chemical’s body of work. A hook-laden leviathan of a pop song, in Rhys’s louche and tortured croon we hear the scars of lived experience as he bends the myth into a cautionary tale for the heavy hearted. A typically standout performance from the group, Crucify abounds in the vital and thought-provoking musicality which we’ve come to expect from 10 O’Clock Chemical.
‘The song is about Stockholm syndrome and the cycle of abuse, how easy it is for the abused to become the abuser unless recognised and the chain becomes broken. It’s about the moment you let someone you thought was important go but still live with the scars they scolded on to you.’ Rhys Oakes
10 O’Clock Chemical is the creative vision of songwriter, vocalist and multi instrumentalist Rhys Oakes, who started writing songs in his bedroom as a teenager in his native Stoke on Trent. Expanding the concept to a band presentation found Rhys connecting with local musicians guitarist Jack Ellis, and electronic whizzkid Mark Crawford. A fourth member, a mysterious cyber entity called Zed, remains all but invisible, and carries out administrative duties for the band and makes the odd cameo appearance.
An enigmatic group with a penchant for sci-fi imagery and witty, observational songwriting, they were quickly voted ‘Best New Artist’ by six hundred of their peers at the Staffordshire and Cheshire Music Awards in Spring 2017. The band spent the rest of 2017 refining their sound, fusing their rock based sensibility with electronic sounds to create a hybrid sound which they’ve termed “GRITPOP”, now adopted as the name for their own label.
10 O’Clock Chemical’s debut single Babylon is Fallen was released to critical acclaim in February 2018 via their own GRITPOP label. A second single, We Are Digital followed in April, and was crowned Record of the Week on BBC Introducing Stoke. With flattering early comparisons as broad as Kasabian, Daft Punk, the Prodigy and Muse, 10 O’Clock Chemical released their debut four track EP Favours For The Wicked on 22nd June. The EP was produced by electronic maestro Matt Johnson, who is also keyboard player and producer in Jamiroquai, and mixed by Adrian Bushby, a double Grammy Award winning mix engineer, who has worked with the likes of Muse and Foo Fighters. It is followed by their resplendent new single Crucify.
3 November – Pilgrims Pit, Stoke-on-Trent
17 November – The Sugarmill, Stoke-on-Trent