Charger is the latest project from Rancid bassist Matt Freeman, alongside guitarist Andrew McGee and drummer Jason Willer. The East Bay trio is now premiering their new single, “Stay Down”, exclusively via Heavy Consequence.
It’s the second song we’ve heard from Charger, following their previous single, “Watch Your Back”. Both songs will be included on a double A-side 12″ single due out April 10th.
“Stay Down” is a no-frills ripper that feels less indebted to the band’s punk rock pedigree than to a reverence for the entirety of rock ‘n’ roll’s storied past. It’s fast and heavy, a la Motörhead, infused with a carefree looseness that’s unpretentious and immediate. The band get to the point, jamming out and relying on their years of combined experience to guide them.
“The song started out with us jamming in the studio trying to do some sort of Sabbath type jazz jam,” Freeman says. “We were throwing ideas around, and Jason yelled out of nowhere, ‘stay down!’ for a chorus part. It made me think of a good friend of mine that has that tattooed on his knuckles. He is a big scary guy and doesn’t like bullies. The song is about him.”
The simplicity of the band’s approach is refreshing, harkening to the visceral physicality and mosh-inducing power of Freeman’s work in Rancid, even though Charger sounds quite different. The trio was formed as a “challenge between two lifers in the punk scene who wanted to push each other to dig deep into their shared roots.” The idea was to not necessarily rehash their musical roots as much as invoke them.