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Four Letter Word

Four Letter Word








Hometown: Cardiff (UK)

About:

Formed in Cardiff, Wales, U.K. in the summer of 1991, the first four years were tough for FOUR LETTER WORD, at a time when it was almost impossible for a Punk band based in South Wales to get any kind of exposure, anywhere. This time was well–spent formulating their individual brand of melodic and political Hardcore Punk Rock. The original line–up was: Kip–Xool (Drums) formerly of THE HERETICS and COWBOY KILLERS, Chris (Bass), Jake (Guitar), Jon (Guitar) and Welly (Vocals) editor of Artcore Fanzine (1986 – ). Jon joining in the autumn of 1991, their rhythm Guitarist Jake lasted less than a year and moved to London in 1992, and Bassist Chris left in 1994 to be replaced by Dog.

After two Demo's; the both six song 'Eden' at the end of 1992 and 'Burning A Better Britain' in the spring of 1995 (as well as a disastrous unreleased Demo in late 1993), they split–financed their first EP with J.S.N.T.G.M. Records of Blackpool in the autumn of 1995 (500 pressed) and toured the U.K. with Bristol's SPITE to promote it in the spring of 1996. Bassist Dog left the band after the tour, and they parted ways with Drummer Kip–Xool at the end of 1996 (who went on to IN THE SHIT and DA CAPO). They were replaced by Will on Drums and Hairy on Bass. The 7" EP sold out.

The 'Words That Burn' EP caught the ear of legendary Los Angeles Hardcore Punk label B.Y.O. Records, and the deal was inked in 1997, they recorded a rough Demo for the label before recording their thirteen song debut album 'A Nasty Piece Of Work in the autumn of 1997 with Frankie Stubbs (LEATHERFACE) recording. The album was released in early 1998 on LP, CD and Cassette.

A 7" culled from this session; 'Do You Feel Lucky, Punk–' (with the out–take 'Access Denied' on the 'B') was also released (red and black vinyl) to promote their first tour of the U.S.A. and Canada, in the summer of 1998. A tour that would see them scour California, the Pacific Northwest, much of Canada and the Mid–West, sharing road–time and stages with the likes of YOUTH BRIGADE, 7SECONDS, THE SWINGIN' UTTERS, BRAND NEW UNIT, PINHEAD CIRCUS and 22 JACKS (featuring Steve Soto of THE ADOLESCENTS) at such legendary venues as Hollywood's 'The Whiskey A–Go–Go' and the 'Troubadour' amongst many others.

Returning home, Bassist Hairy parted ways with F.L.W. and was replaced by Tim O'Donovan. They returned to the studio in the spring of 1999 to record their second, and critically acclaimed twelve song album 'Zero Visibility (Experiments With Truth)' (CD only), again with Frankie Stubbs at the helm, which was released in late summer 1999. Things took a turn for the worse at this point, their ever fluctuating line–up took a major battering when both Will and Tim quit (Drums and Bass, Will joining FISHTAKE a.k.a. THE TAKE), and they were forced to cancel their first European tour at the last minute at the end of 1999. Their label was none too pleased with this, and their recently–released second album saw no further promotion after this point.

The Drum and Bass duties were filled by Wedge (formerly of CLASSIFIED PROTEST and RECTIFY) and Tom (of Bristol and ASPIRIN KID) respectively. Then F.L.W. received notification from B.Y.O. Records that a company manufacturing a boy band by the name of '4 Letr Word' from Minnesota and linked to MCA/Universal Records in Los Angeles had trademarked the name in the U.S. and U.K. and had filed 'cease and desist' proceedings against the label. B.Y.O. Records decided to part ways with F.L.W. at this point, capitulating to the legal threats. On top of this, B.Y.O. notified F.L.W. that legal papers were being drawn up whereby all merchandise and promotional material bearing the band's name had to be destroyed, forcing the band to take as much of their remaining merchandise as they could. Although somehow this material still remains available commercially to this day.

F.L.W. organised their own tour to raise funds for legal representation, and Welly took a crash–course in Trade Mark law, seeing the band secure a U.K. registered TM for their name in certain areas of trade description. After this point, all that is known of the boy band is that all their members left and their impending deal with MCA/Universal Records collapsed, leaving the TM owner with a name, but not much else. All the while, the band continued to tour the U.K. constantly, in the summer of 2000 with Gloucester's WHIPPASNAPPA, before Jon decided to call it a day after nine years with the band on Guitar.

Undeterred, they enlisted Neil (formerly of SHUTDOWN, also of Bristol) on Guitar, and hit the studio at the end of the year to record the 'Cold Day In Hell' five track CDEP which was released in early 2001 on Southampton's Suspect Device Records to coincide with their winter U.K. tour with Falkirk's TURTLEHEAD. They also recorded a version of 'Mighty And Superior by CONFLICT at this session, which featured on the tribute CD 'Barricades And Broken Dreams' released on Ledbury's 'Blackfish Records' soon thereafter. Also at this time, to further their legal stand, the label that originally helped them release their debut EP back in 1995 decided to re–release it, remastered, with the other unreleased tracks from the session and a spoken word piece by label honcho Andy Higgins on the state of music in reference to F.L.W.'s plight, on a luminous green vinyl 12" EP called 'The Band That Time Forgot'.

The summer of 2001 saw Neil abruptly quit the band to be replaced by Matt on Guitar (also of Bristol and THE SPARTANS) and the band soon toured the U.K. yet again. This time with two Leeds bands; JOE NINETY and FIG. 4.O. The bands got on well and the tour became known as the 'Four Ninety Four' tour. Soon after, Drummer Wedge left the band to move to Scotland. Finding a replacement Drummer is a daunting task for any band, but to make things worse, Bassist Tom left at the end of the year, seeing F.L.W. take an enforced hiatus for nearly a year before a new line–up could be consolidated.

Finally enlisting Jon Swain on Drums, the band began practicing again in July 2003. After a couple of gigs Jon left and Matt followed soon after. This saw yet another radical line–up change, bringing Dave Beer and Dave Millinship for Four Letter Word's first ever two guitar attack. Will returned briefly on the Drums to record a new 7" EP, but then left and was replaced by Chris Murphy on Drums. The four song 7" EP 'Crimewave' was released on Newest Industry on May 1st 2004 to coincide with the band's U.K. tour with Biscuit's Texas Bombs (featuring Randy 'Biscuit' Turner formerly of The Big Boys) and the Visual Vitriol Punk Rock flyer exhibition.

In October 2004, Four Letter Word went into the studio to finally record their third album. With Frankie Stubbs again at the helm at Frontline Studios in Caerphilly, the outcome was the twelve song 'Like Moths to a Flame' which was released on Newest Industry at the beginning of 2005. Critically acclaimed, like previous Four Letter Word releases, it was well received by long–time F.L.W. listeners, and hopefully a few new ones. A tour to promote the album with label–mates; Atlanta's Black Cougar Shock Unit in September 2005 saw the regular, almost annual meet–up with old pals from around the U.K.

At the end of the tour Welly parted company with the other members, deciding to take a year out to concentrate on his new shop Damaged Records. After a year though, thoughts returned to the band seeing original guitar man Jon returning to the fold, along with 'Cold Day' era drumming man Wedge, along with new guys Gob on the bass and Nick on Guitar. The band have been writing new material and are heading out for a tour of the East Coast of the U.S. in October 2007 with Off With Their Heads from Minneapolis. A brand new EP 'Staring Down the Barrel' and a split tour EP with their touring partners are being released to coincide with the tour via No Idea Records, Newest Industry and Damaged Records.


Reviews

Four Letter Word An Invitation to a Hanging

Four Letter Word

An Invitation to a Hanging (2010)

Newest Industry

Four Letter Word Follow as the Crow Flies

Four Letter Word

Follow as the Crow Flies (2009)

Newest Industry/Boss Tuneage

Off With Their Heads / Four Letter Word  One For The Road [7 inch]

Off With Their Heads / Four Letter Word

One For The Road [7 inch] (2007)

No Idea Records

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