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iTCH – The Deep End

Becci Stanley


Since finding his voice in The King Blues relaying angry, political and thoughtful views, Itch has been known as one of the finest lyricists in the UK. His debut solo EPs tell dark, morbid tales of squalor and being the underdog of society under a grimey, punk guise totally different to The King Blues; though debut album The Deep End seamlessly blends both of these influences in his life with a heart-warming, eye-opening effect.

The album opens with Life is Poetry kicking in with an uplifting piano skit straight out of a musical. It then plunges into gritty vocals over driving, pumping guitars keeping a slow and sexy tempo contrasting with razor sharp, racing vocals. This suddenly comes to a halt with crisp, clear and booming singing over a beating snare drum and the keys re-igniting. Itch then takes it up a notch with following track Sun Goes Down creating the perfect imagery of a dark and mysterious setting with low, thumping electronic noises, echoing vocals and mysterious interludes of synth.

Once you think you have the grasp of this album, the tone changes completely, like when Homeless Romantic follows Sun Goes Down. the latter is a slow, summery ode incorporating harmonious vocals, acoustic guitar, gang vocals in parts and almost pop punk guitar hooks and crashing drums.

Similar to this are Laugh and Another Man which hone an almost pop punk mashed with bluegrass feel to them. They have an air of playfulness with fun, mocking and loving lyrics, a long stretch for Itch’s usually political verses, mixed with slow and lazy vocals lulling you into a gentle head nod and finger click whilst still maintaining a certain energy to keep you interesting and enveloped within the music.

Despite this, Itch still has the same dark and dystopian theme running through his work as is apparent with returning single Like I’m Drugs with a self-destructive and lost tone over a thumping electronic beat; and within Not My Revolution and Children of the Revolution honing Itch’s personal views and heart-breaking feelings of alienation and a loss of youth that hit home incredibly hard, not to mention the calming, elevating music that soothes the soul.

Closing track Ricochet ends the album in spectacular form blending all the elements that makes it a great one, using stark contrasts like slow to racing vocals, quiet melodic music to a fast-crashing punk cacophony then straight back to a trance-y electronic mash up ending on a heart-thumping crescendo before a resonating ending. For a man with many influences and talents, Itch manages to take each element and craft them effortlessly into one working unit, and it works on so many levels. From lyrics to instrumentals, this release is perfected in every way, paving the way for further success.