Forming well over a decade ago, Stoke-On-Trent’s sludge veterans Charger first emerged with their ‘Haul Ass’ demo back in 1998. The band handed the demo out at various gigs including those of the legendary Iron Monkey, to help spread their heaviness at a grass-roots level. The band also appeared on compilation albums released by Lockjaw and Organ Records.
Soon the ball of filth began to roll and new vocalist Tim replaced Mark for the ‘Fuzzbastard’ EP which was released by Undergroove/Lockjaw. Following this the band released their debut album ‘The Foul Year of Our Lord’, which featured 6 tracks lasting nearly an hour and also took its name from Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. This album put Charger’s name firmly on the UK map and tours with Raging Speedhorn and Amen followed bringing the weighty sludgers even more exposure.
Charger were given the opportunity of touring with LA’s Amen at the personal request of Casey Chaos who was a self confessed Charger fan. This catapulted Charger into much bigger venues like the LA2 (Mean Fiddler) & got the attention of all the national media. The first show at Manchester Acadameny had Amen fans stage diving to Charger won over by the sheer agression in the sound. This tour spilled over into Europe & also featured Raging Speedhorn.
After the untimely death of former Iron Monkey frontman Jonny Morrow, Charger paid tribute playing the Morrowfest and then set about writing their 2nd full length album. After working with recording legend Billy Anderson and signing to Peaceville Records, ‘Confessions Of A Man Mad Enough (To Live Amongst Beasts)’ was unleashed to critical acclaim, tracks were played on Marie Ann Hobbs Radio One Rockshow and the album thrust the band to the forefront of the UK Sludge/Doom genre whilst simultaneously making the worldwide underground scene take notice.
The band toured the album which included a 5 week Euro stint with Today Is The Day, a short UK tour with Taint & Khang as well as shows with the likes of Morbid Angel, Napalm Death, Catherdral & Orange Goblin before Tim announced his decision to leave the band. Former Terrorizer Magazine editor, ex Labrat and Tangaroa vocalist Martin Ives was recruited in Tim’s place just in time for the band’s tour with My Ruin and Murder One. The chaotic man-mountain quickly gained notoriety for incidents such as performing without a microphone as well as charging into the crowd during gigs. The band played a storming set at the Damnation Festival in Manchester before putting out a split CD with Birds of Paradise on Ives’ own Calculated Risk Records as well as a split 7″ with Black Eye Riot on Calculon Records which was promoted with the 4 date ASBO tour with Black Eye Riot and Lazarus Blackstar. The band then laid low whilst working on the follow up to ‘Confessions…’.
The follow up, entitled ‘Spill Your Guts’ saw the band spewing forth some of their heaviest material yet, ranging from violent 2 minute blasts like ‘Cult VS Cunt’ to harrowing ten minute dirges like ‘This is Our Black Sabbath’. Charger toured the album briefly with new axeman Danny after long serving member Jim left the fold in early ’07.
2008 saw Ives’ time with the band come to an end and his vocal duties being overtaken by the other members of the band. With this new line-up, a slot on the highly anticipated ‘Heavyfest IV’ and a new management in the form of Future Noise, Charger are setting their sights on re-establishing themselves as a bludgeoning force of sonic excess to be reckoned with.
Charger ‘The Stuffer’
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