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Sheffield, England, United Kingdom | SELF

Sheffield, England, United Kingdom | SELF
Band Alternative Punk


This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs



“Three young lads with a passion for music and having fun” would be a pretty correct summation of Cable 35 if you’re only looking for a quick-fire description of this energetic trio.
Beyond the kicks and an ever-present sense of humour, however, they are three dedicated and focused musicians who are very much in control of what they’re doing and where they’re heading, as I find out when I sit in for an exclusive advance listening session of the album they’ll be launching this Tuesday.
Before the music starts to play, they – guitarist and singer Jeffrey Zerafa, bassist and backing vocalist Kriz Zahra and drummer Chris Mallia – bring me up to date with what their year has been like so far.
The album was recorded in separate sessions. They started at the end of last year, laying down the instrumental parts first, with Zerafa recording all the vocals after the other parts had been done.
In between, there were gigs to play, several of them outside Malta.
“Last February we went on tour for a month,” says Zahra. “It was a good experience, but there were some bad moments too – the worst being when tour van broke down on the way to Milan, before we had even played our first gig.”
Cable35, by the way, are probably the only Maltese band that has ever gone abroad on tour using its own transport all the way from Malta – twice. They had made a similar trip last year but, being their first experience, it wasn’t quite perfect in terms of planning.
“We learnt a lot from that tour, so this time we planned our schedule better and fitted in more gigs.”
Starting off in Milan, where they got lost while walking around the city, Cable35 then stopped in Belgium for a couple of gigs before crossing the channel to perform two more gigs in London, three in Birmingham and another in Leicester, where they hooked up with their friends, The Reluctant Heroes, who have also performed in Malta in recent years.
“We doubled back through Belgium for two more gigs and played the final date in Amsterdam,” Zerafa says. “That last gig was fantastic; some Maltese friends of ours flew over especially for it and we spent five days there to chill out.”
They have an endless stream of tour-related stories to tell, but time is pressing and there’s still an album’s worth of new songs waiting to be heard.
The play button is pressed and I brace myself to absorb the all-new music that kicks off with Cow Head. The track is the quickest song the band has ever written, as Mallia points out. “We wrote the music and lyrics in just one take – all of us in one room, playing loud, live and raw.”
It is a pummeling slab of alternative rock that hits hard, clearly spelling out the grunge-rooted co-ordinates that have increasingly inspired and diverted the band’s musical path away from the pronounced melodic pop inclination that defined their 2007 debut EP.
The next track, Can I, sounds even more primal, its rough edge nimbly punctuated by some sharp dynamic breaks; the interestingly-named Bobby Funk – a bass and drums driven number – reveals Zerafa’s versatile vocal delivery. Shrouded in a claustrophobic muffled effect, the vocals echo the theme inspiring the song, essentially the graphic scene from A Clockwork Orange where the notorious main character Alex is subjected to the intense Ludovico Technique therapy.
“The vocals project the same sick feeling the scene in the film does,” the singer explains. “And there’s also a local connection, because Anthony Burgess, who wrote the book, lived in Malta for a while.”
For those familiar with the band’s work to date, the curious song titles are nothing new. “We usually pick titles at random when the songs are still a work-in-progress,” Zahra says.
He explains how they used to record rehearsals and save them as untitled tracks, which got confusing after a while, so they started to give them names that popped into their heads on the spur of the moment.
One such example is Fact in Spain, which really has nothing to do with the Iberian peninsula. Another fine piece of dirty dynamic distortion incorporating a quiet/loud break that underpins its urgency, the song’s lyrics reflect the title’s meaninglessness by drawing comparisons to the new trend of disrupting live music events that seems to have caught on with the local forces.
Factory Floor and Come Down to Party unveil different aspects of the abrasive mesh of altered rock riffage that seems to be the album’s gelling factor. The two songs flow along the same currents that propelled Nirvana towards the mass market without relinquishing their authenticity.
The latter, in particular, loosely inspired by people getting ready to go clubbing, starts out as a mellower, strummed number that disperses into the ether.
Lost City, the album’s only ‘ballad’, feeds off this same ambience in a dirge-like flow, revealing another side to Cable 35’s musical vision that has rarely showed itself before.
The album’s second half (bar a sonic interlude called Abducted and a bonus acoustic version of Lost City) is emphatically powerful.
Saturated is a standout moment; a menacing juggernaut in which the band’s punk, grunge and hardcore influences blend impeccably.
I try to coax the story behind the song out of the band, but somehow the discussion takes an unexpected turn and brings out a barrage of humorous interjections which I am sure have no bearing on the song, and so we move on.
House of Fire maintains both Saturated’s pace and crossover style. “This was the first song we played in every gig on the last tour,” Zahra says. “It proved to be very effective in grabbing the crowd’s attention, which is all the more important given we were playing to new audiences each time.”
Surfing Africa, the band is quick to point out before I even have time to ask, has no connection to the Beach Boys’ Surfing USA. As it turns out, it also has little to do with Africa itself.
Versatile in its structure without losing grip of the album’s stride, the song was apparently written about those moments when one gets separated from his friends in a big crowd; make of that what you will.
The band’s current single, Memories, is probably the only track here that balances a hefty chunk of melody with the record’s grungey outlook. Unsurprisingly, it’s been doing relatively well on the local airwaves, auguring well for the band to maintain its presence at the forefront of the local scene.
Towards the end of the album, Fat Snowman, Crops and Matonto offer a triple barrage that serves as an unshakeable reminder of where the band is headed musically, as well as powerful examples of how the littlest thing can inspire a song – from overweight pushers to burning fields of grass, and strangely enough, a plane that happened to be flying overhead when the band was at a barbecue.
“The word Matonto doesn’t really have any meaning, but we’re confident it may one day be incorporated into the Maltese vocabulary,” Zahra says rather seriously…or maybe not. Overall, it is more than evident that the grunge factor the band has openly referenced during interviews has been essential in shaping the new songs. More than the popular form of the genre however, it is the earlier Subpop period that seems to have been their main inspiration.
“We’re still in touch with our punk roots, but over time we’ve been listening to lots of other stuff, mostly grunge and alternative bands… music that has a dirtier sound.”
Blending various styles makes it difficult to describe Cable 35’s music, but they quickly resolve the problem: “Just call it fungus rock!”
Cable 35 will launch their as-yet-untitled debut album (the name will be revealed on the day of the launch) on Tuesday with a live performance at V-Gen in Paceville. Three Stops to China will also be performing and Davide Zane will be playing DJ sets in between bands. Entrance is €7 (or €12 including CD). Log on to Cable 35’s Facebook page to stream the music videos for Memories and Cow Head. - Times of Malta

This is turning out to be a good year for the Grunge genre. It seems like we're having an international Grunge revival, here on Spirit of Metal. Cable35 are a young Maltese trio, resembling the lineup of the late great Nirvana. They've already got 2 EP's under their belts, that were both released by Meat And Greet Records. The band released this debut album last summer and it's unclear if they are still with that label. I-Tunes shows the band's copyright, instead of mentioning any label for this release. The album art simply exhibits the bottom half of a joyful face. I suspect that the artistic concept, is that the nostrils were to appear as eyes do on a hand puppet. It isn't anything fancy, but I really like it. Because the happy face embodies the cheerful spirit, that is omnipresent throughout the album. Louder features 16 short songs, ranging between 2 to 4 minutes in length, which collectively endure for about 46 minutes of fun Grunge music.

Jeff's vocals sound sort of scratchy and humble. Although he doesn't display much range, he makes up for this with the emotions that accompany the musical nuances, which occur within the different songs. He still does a very good job with that, because he gives their music an amiable character. Jeff sounds a lot like Dave Tejas from the Krum Bums, which is an American punkcore band. But Jeff's vocals sound extremely positive and optimistic; which is the exact opposite of the surly attitude of Dave Tejas.

Cable35 play a stripped down style of Grunge, with influences of Hardcore punk, and milder forms of punk; which are mixed with indie rock. Jeff plays a down tuned guitar, with choppy rhythms and dissonant melodies. The catchy power chords slash from the higher notes, then abruptly down to the lower notes, in the tradition of Nirvana's start-stop technique. Where power chords are intermingled with lighter guitar picking between them, for contrasting song dynamics.

On some songs like Can I, Come Down to Party, and Bobby Funk; Kriz plays his bass lines with groovy rhythms, that slink along upward like some of the playing methods of Kurt Danielson from Tad. Jeff will usually complement that with hip guitar licks, that resemble those by Steve Wolfensberger of Feuerzeug. Sometimes he plays some reeling guitar hooks, like we hear from Kurt Cobain, in some of Nirvana's songs. A few of their songs have a straight out 1980's punk rock approach, that sounds influenced by some of the Ramones's earlier material. Lost City is a calmer song, with gentle guitar strumming of delicate melodies. Jeff's vocals sound placid, giving it a nice atmosphere like the Smashing Pumpkins.

Louder isn't anything fancy, but I really like it. No frills rocking is what Grunge music is all about anyway. Every song rocks with a fun loving attitude. There isn't a bad track on this album and you can let it play through. They've been touring exclusively in Europe. They must have had some degree of success. Or else they wouldn't have 4 professionally made videos, and all 3 of their releases available internationally on I-Tunes. On their first 2 EP's, they exhibited influences from Green Day and the Offspring. With Louder, Cable35 goes in the direction of classic Nirvana. That's a good thing since Nirvana has a very limited catalog of songs. Everyone knows that Nirvana split up in 1994, after the death of Kurt Cobain. So Louder is a good fresh substitute, in lieu of the absence of any new material from Nirvana. - Spirit of Metal

We were recently put onto a band called Cable 35 by a young lady named Lilly Lea, she says they’re loud…..and since that’s my own personal criteria for most things I figured it only right that I check them out and see what they had to offer! This is the first band we’ve ever featured from Malta so this could well be something new for us!

Opening with Cow Head, everything opens grungy, sludgy and downright dirty, sounding almost off beat and bizarre as you become accustomed to the guitar and drum combo. Kicking in properly to a syncopated section of roving guitar lines, pounding drums, solid bass and gravelly vocals, the track builds into something reminiscent of the more bizarre Nirvana tracks, yet with something different added to it, it’s really hard to express in words what this sounds like without over using the word bizarre, but it really is at first listen! Having said that, don’t assume because I say that that it must be bad, it is infact something pretty cool to behold – the vocals are almost screechy at times which when combined with a simple yet effective drum, bass and guitar combo, you get a track which really pulls you in and makes you listen to what’s going on!

Memories follows on, once again opting to open with guitars and drums before kicking the vocals in to energise the track fully. This track is more conventional in the way that it’s put together, almost sounding odd in itself after the previous track. What I really like here though is the strange xylophone sounds they’ve managed to incorporate into the track, when combined with the ‘lalalala’ vocals you’ve got something which on paper shouldn’t work, yet somehow it does! Following the Factory Floor sample (taster which incidentally makes me want to hear the full track) you kick into Boogie Man – a track which seems to hold all of the makings of a true grunge anthem. There’s a real element of the older stuff Feeder did here, it’s got that layered vocal approach over the guitars which turns the track from something simple into something bigger and more powerful. Personally, I reckon this track must be epic on the live scene, it’s got all of the traits which will make crowds go wild from powerful guitar lines, harmonic sections and soaring vocals through to a solid and pounding beat.

Harry comes in next, a track which demonstrates not only the bands grunge tendencies but also their punk roots. The drums are much simpler this time around and further enhance the powerful vocal line, what you’re presented with once the guitars and bass are also brought in is a track which is almost catchy but mostly powerful – it’s nigh on impossible to imagine this just being a 3 piece band! Mary is further testament to this, opening with a relatively simply guitar line before chucking in a roving lead line over it, the bass kept high in the mix and the drums rolling around to create a further sense of movement in the track. The progression of the guitars on this track creates something which will pull you in, then the vocals will shock you into questioning what the hell is going on once again. Again, not saying it’s a bad thing, but the chorus section will really catch you off guard, I don’t want to spoil it but wow…..didn’t see it coming!

Animal Rules finishes of the selection on the Facebook page, once again opening with layers of bass, drums and guitars before bringing in the vocals over everything. Again sounding almost disjointed in its form, this track seems to summarise everything so far and leaves you wanting to know what else these guys can do. Catchy once again, this track is quite possibly my favourite from the selection here, there’s something odd about it yet there’s a really catchy element to it as well, this is one you need to hear!

I didn’t know what to expect from a band from Malta, but I guess now I know…..and it’s all good! I love that they’re producing music which doesn’t necessarily conform to what you would expect, it offers up little surprises which catch you off guard at each turn, each time reassuring you that it’s all good and making you enjoy what they’ve done. The sheer power these guys come up with as well is far beyond a 3 piece band, all that’s left is for me to get out there and see if they can do it live as well! - Loud Stuff

Thursday 1st of September 2011

Just as the MTV VMAs had made me give up on music altogether, along come Cable35 - a band who are exciting, energetic and well and truly off-the-wall. While the whole World seems to be rejoicing in Lady Gaga's self-indulgence, Cable35 and spitting out hefty tracks with a grungy vocal and noisy guitars.

'Cow Head' kicks off the album with a sound that is full of identity. It's somewhere between Nirvana's 'Breed' and some of the gnarly chord-shiftage of Jawbreaker. Or to put it another way, it's brilliant.

They continue the tidal-wave with 'Can I' and 'Bobby Funk' before switching things a bit with the smack-down beat of 'Fact In Spain', which is entirely bouncy with a visceral break.

Oh my. 'Factory Floor' is genius. The guitars are hypnotic and the vocal is utterly unhinged. This track is huge.

We have a relative chillout in 'Come Down To Party', it has all the same elements, but feels very much like the morning after the songs before - an aftermath of broken furniture that reminds us how great the party was. The chill continues in 'Lost City', with its broken vocal and smouldering guitar tones.

The pace picks up suddenly for 'Saturated', with a strong bass line and a wiry guitar sound. 'House Of Fire' is a real front-runner in terms of having single potential, its the kind of song that will entice people into the music.

'Abducted' jet-planes in with a brief but brave intermission before the ace 'Surfing Africa' slams itself on your eardrums. There are flickers of something different in the guitars and even some harmonies in the vocal - but don't mistake this for anything other than an uncompromising song, it just happens to have some go faster stripes. 'Memories' is another song that competes for a-side space, it has a strong melody and tons of drive.

'Fat Snowman' is one of those songs where all the instruments follow the melody, which makes it sparky and rhythmic and 'Crops' is another absolute stormer.

The record finishes on the bright 'Matonto', a song that cheekily swings in a bit of ska.

This band is scarily good. They are right at the edge, where noise is wild like a mustang and while it can be directed it will never be tame. This is dangerous ground, it's noisy and it's a bit scary - but this is where music needs to be sometimes because it reminds us how good real music is.

We want more stuff just like this. We want lots more stuff just like this.

Author: Steve - The Mag


Album: 'Louder' 2011

1. Cow Head
2. Can I
3. Bobby Funk
4. Fact in Spain
5. Factory Floor
6. Come Down to Party
7. Lost City
8. Saturated
9. House of Fire
10. Abducted
11. Surfing Africa
12. Memories
13. Fat Snowman
14. Crops
15. Matonto
16. Lost City (pussy version)

EP: 'Hygiene EP' 2009

1. Boogie Man
2. Mary
3. Greg's Tool
4. Harry
5. Speak to Yourself



Cable35 was formed in late 2006 in Malta by

Jeffrey Zerafa – Guitar & Vocals
Kriz Zahra – Bass & Vocals
Chris Mallia – Drums.

After playing a number of small gigs on the local circuit, in schools and colleges around the island , the band entered the studio in July 07 to record what would be "my first EP" 'A Beautiful Story' was the first single released on radio and TV from 'My First EP' in October 2007.

Early 2008 'Wasted Away' was released followed by 'Animal Rules' later in May. Recording sessions for Hygiene EP took place in October. On March 14, 2009, Cable35 released the single 'Mary' and 'Hygiene EP'.

Cable35 have played a number of gigs around Europe over the past couple of years playing Liverpool and Birmingham, England in 2007, Copenhagen Demark in 2008, Italy, Belgium and England on the Hygiene Tour in May and June 2009 and Birmingham in 2010. "Harry" accompanied by the "Harry video" (directed and filmed by the band) was the next single to be released in 2010 followed by 'Boogie Man' in November 2010.

Cable35 toured Europe in 2011, playing in Catania, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Denmark and the UK followed by a Release for their Debut Album 'Louder' accompanied by two singles 'Memories' and 'Cow Head' with Music Videos you can watch here:

Cable35 toured Europe again in October 2011 and are constantly touring the UK ... you can view the upcoming shows here: