After his pop-punk band dissolved in 2018, singer-songwriter Joshua Williams toyed with the idea of a solo project – College Elite is that project. Hailing from Manchester, College Elite is a fusion of garage rock and grunge with some indie-rock thrown in for good measure. Using these inspirations and influences, Williams is creating the ideal sound for a college dorm room – without all the drama, of course. He kicks off his bright and shiny new project with the debut single ‘Disaster’.
Adopting a DIY approach to recording, Williams self-produced ‘Disaster’ and the other three tracks off his upcoming four-track EP all from the comfort of his attic. Williams recorded the vocals and guitar with Ollie Felton on drums. The Super Late Night helped out with production, but all in all the EP cost only £40 to make. Pretty decent, if I say so myself.
Inspired by his work as a bartender and the frustration of dealing with annoying scenarios, ‘Disaster’ is a song of bitterness and vexation. The agony of living in a circle where these annoyances are repeated each day makes the track raw, honest and desperate. This is not only lyrically with lyrics like “you’re asking me for a drink and you don’t know my name”, but also sonically with pounding drums, powerful guitars and throaty, yet melodic, vocals.
In ‘Disaster’ College Elite has created a simple track to deal with the mundane. However, reminiscent of Nirvana and Kurt Cobain, Williams finds a delicate balance between simplicity and intricacy in meaning and delivery. In an interview with Canada’s Much Music TV Channel, Kurt Cobain said people would “misunderstand” songs and they had to “explain it for people to get it” – which is one of the reasons, he says, for writing the blunt ‘Rape Me’. We could overanalyse Williams’ lyrics and interpret it to mean tons of other things, but we don’t need to think too much to enjoy this disaster.