News: Red Lorry Yellow Lorry Announce Final Album

Red Lorry Yellow Lorry Sign Record Deal with COP International, Announce Final Album and EPs

Formed during the early eighties in Leeds, England, seminal post-punk band Red Lorry Yellow Lorry have just announced a label deal with COP International. The new signing will see the long-awaited release of what is expected to be the last ever Red Lorry Yellow Lorry album, Strange Kind of Paradise; along with further EP releases containing singles, b-sides, and remixes.

COP International’s Christian Petke, says:

“As the founder of COP International, I am thrilled beyond measure to announce the signing of Red Lorry Yellow Lorry to our label. This is more than just a professional endeavor for me; it’s a deeply personal milestone. Red Lorry Yellow Lorry’s music served as the soundtrack to my formative years, inspiring my own musical journey. The chance to contribute to the legacy of a band that has influenced me so profoundly is an honor I can scarcely put into words. To all the fans who have been touched by Red Lorry Yellow Lorry’s music, I extend my deepest gratitude for joining us on this exhilarating adventure.”

Red Lorry Yellow Lorry formed in 1981, named for an English children’s tongue-twister. Between 1982 and 1985, ‘the Lorries’, as they became known to fans, released a string of highly influential singles and EPs; followed by the albums Talk About the Weather (1985), Paint Your Wagon (1986), Nothing Wrong (1988) and Blow (1989). Throughout this period, nearly all of the band’s singles, EPs, and albums scaled the upper reaches of the NME’s UK independent charts.

Routinely touring the UK, Europe, and North America; at the height of their influence and creative output, the band’s signature sound was defined by founder and frontman Chris Reed’s cavernous, scowling vocals; the sonorous, droning, angular guitar textures of both Reed and longtime songwriting partner, Dave ‘Wolfie’ Wolfenden; coupled with grinding bass, and a near-industrial concoction of bludgeoning, neo-tribal live percussion and ice-cold mechanical drum-machines.

With comparisons drawn to Joy Division, Killing Joke, Big Black, and fellow Leeds “drum-machine bands” (The Sisters of Mercy, The March Violets, The Three Johns); Red Lorry Yellow Lorry have often been linked with the advent of ‘goth rock’. Although they welcomed the dark embrace of the goths, the Lorries themselves maintained that they were always more heavily inspired by bands at either end of the punk explosion, from the MC5 to Wire; and by “industrial” artists including Australia’s J.G. Thirlwell (Foetus).

As Reed’s (and Wolfenden’s) songwriting matured and developed over the course of their career, the Lorries’ later releases incorporated heavier use of keyboards and acoustic guitars, and more spacious, polished pop melodicism. The transition was warmly received by critics of the band’s more jarring and inaccessible early releases, but met with mixed response from longtime fans.

During the early 1990s, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry gradually disintegrated. Unable to crossover into the mainstream pop charts, they were dropped by their label Situation Two in 1990, while Wolfie left to join The Mission’s worldwide Deliverance tour. Chris Reed continued with a new lineup, releasing the fifth album Blasting Off (1992), which went largely unnoticed. Wolfie returned for one final tour of Germany, before Reed put the band on indefinite hold.

Red Lorry Yellow Lorry was resumed as an active band in 2003, with mainstays Chris Reed and Wolfie ultimately joined by bassist Simon ‘Ding’ Archer (The Fall, Pixies, PJ Harvey); and drummer Martin Henderson (Skeletal Family, The Batfish Boys, The Mekons). Between 2003 and 2015, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry often appeared at festivals including M’era Luna (Germany), Whitby Gothic Weekend (UK), and Wave Gotik Treffen (Germany), among others; in between their own headline tour-dates around the UK and Europe.

Strange Kind of Paradise, the forthcoming album, was recorded during this period; engineered and produced by bassist Simon ‘Ding’ Archer, whose production credits also include work for The Fall, The Membranes, Inca Babies, 1919, Expelaires, Spear of Destiny and countless others. By the time the Lorries dissolved for a second time, however, the Strange Kind of Paradise album remained unreleased in the vaults of the band, where it has languished in that state ever since.

With Chris Reed reputed to have withdrawn from public life for the foreseeable future, and the band now effectively defunct, the task of finally bringing the album to bear has fallen to Wolfie and Ding. Following months of fielding offers and intense negotiations during 2023, the band at last announced a deal with the COP International label in March 2024.

More news to follow from