The Zangwills // The Horrors of Sobriety

I know I over think things but when I spot a band name like The Zangwills, I can’t help but wonder about it. Is it some kind of urban slang that has passed an oldster like me by? Is it a tribute to Israel Zangwill the 19th century author who wrote about ghetto poverty and did much to promote the ideas for a Jewish homeland? Are the band named after an obscure street in Blackheath, London? One thing for certain; if these lads carry on their impressive climb to the top of the indie/alternative rock tree then they will soon overshadow those other Zangwills.

The young band members (Jake Vickers – Vocals and Guitar, Sam Davies – Guitar, Ed Dowling – Bass, Adam Spence – Drums are only 17-18 years old) are based in Warrington, Northwich and Chester and having formed just 12 months ago are so fresh they only have a handful of songs available to listen to on-line. Nevertheless the band are already building up a buzz and a heady and fiercely loyal crew ready to travel throughout the North West to catch the guys play live.

The band explain their first single New Heights released towards the end of 2017 is about looking back on a class night out with your pals and appreciating the good times with the best people.

The band describes their sound as “Fresh, Zesty and Indie” and New Heights provides that in spades. There’s a fantastic jangly guitar and solid bass and drum backing (think The Cult’s Spirit Walker), and the voice of Jake Vickers is something else indeed. I get a flowing elasticity to Jake’s voice and with a pleasing gravel tone when he stretches it out for the chorus. This is clearly a voice to remember live.

The new track The Horrors of Sobriety was released at the end of March and while I enjoyed the track New Heights, this new track really bring the band to another level. Here we again get the jangling guitars that the wonderful and sorely missed Viola Beach deployed so effectively, but it is merged with a soaring Pearl Jam influenced chorus with a nice bit of hard electric fuzz around the edges. The anticipatory build up to the hard rocky chorus is divine and The Horrors of Sobriety can reasonably be described as a true banger. Jake’s voice once again is exceptional and I get a good early Caleb Followill vibe, while the boys behind him keep up the high standard.

The Zangwills are gigging around the North West as much as possible, and are hoping to pick up some gigs further afield as the year progresses. Their next gig is at the Manchester Academy 2 on Friday 27th April. They also play Warrington Festival on 5th May. Meanwhile be sure to catch the track The Horrors of Sobriety at You Tube

Chris R


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