Charger, the punk-metal band featuring Rancid’s Matt Freeman, are back with a new single as they prepare to go on tour with The Old Firm Casuals.

Charger. Pic: Raymond Ahner.

The bass player formed the band in the East Bay area of California last year with guitarist Andrew McGee and drummer Jason Willer (from Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine).

They released their self-titled seven-song debut EP for Pirates Press Records (reviewed here) in the summer, channelling vintage Motorhead, Hawkind and Iron Maiden.

The new single Watch Your Back, being streamed on Kerrang! here, will be available from the Pirates Press webstore here from Friday, December 13.

Freeman explains the song thus: “The impetus to Watch Your Back is there is surveillance everywhere. Whether it’s the government, tech companies, or your neighbours, you have to watch your back.” 

This Pirates Press web store exclusive release may look like a picture disc, but it’s not. Watch Your Back is a one-sided record digitally printed on the non-groove side, with two separate passes through the machine.

Charger – Watch Your Back (Pirates Press Records)

The new technique creates a cool (and super limited) new style of 12” pressed on real vinyl, sounding amazing, and unlike any ‘picture disc’ you’ve ever seen.

Charger are about to head out on a tour of the US West Coast with labelmates The Old Firm Casuals, whose line-up includes Freeman’s Rancid bandmate Lars Frederiksen.

While Charger’s members each have a musical pedigree, it’s not about what they’ve created before – it’s about the unholy racket they’re making now.

The drumming is frantic, the vocal melodies howled – and Lemmy himself would be proud of the bass riffs.

Gary Welford owner