The Hip Priests – Tight ‘n’ Exciting LP

Review in

I-94 Bar


Date: 20080501

Ya gotta hand it to these guys, it shows some damn nerve to give yr album a title like that, but they live up to their own publicity. So much so, that the title might just about suffice for a review. Because, fact is, they are tighter than a skinny virgin’s pussy and have that rare quality of excitement.

It’s hard to pin down, but this kinda rock and roll excitement has a lot to do with a band being tight, tight enough that they can stick together while charging thru’ at some hotarse breakneck pace, the drums and bass gtr locked in to each other, the guitar screaming and wailing away while the singer (singer?) hollers on with the tales you’d expect from song titles like ‘”Juiced Up ‘n’ Loose” and “Teenage friction”. They aint re-writing the rulebook, by any stretch of the imagination, they just do it with a great sense of panache.

It aint irrelevant that they’re from Nottingham. Far enough away from England’s style centres of London and Manchester to develop their own thing, yet that thing is what we’d more often think of as American. Interesting, really, how much rock and roll, from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones onwards, is all about Poms aping Yanks and in the process, stumbling upon something that becomes their own thing and nudges the course of history onward.

Then again, the Hip Priests don’t nudge it all that far, they just rip into it, and aint it a wonderful thing? These Priests are also smart enough to hook into some great production. It’s a thick, raw, sound, the studio equivalent of a band playing in a small room (only it’d never sound this good if you were in the room) with a distorted treble edge on everything. Even the vocals are overdriven. If records were still made on analogue desks and magnetic tape, I’d figure that they just overdrove every little VU meter and EQ amp as far as they could. As it is, I guess Simon at Sirkus Studios is a cluey fellow who knows how to replicate that sound with a bunch of digital plugins, and more power to him, ‘cos this record sounds fucking hot!

That Englishness shows through in their sense of humour, too. Copyright statement puts ‘tunes’ in inverted commas. You can just about hear the tongue in cheek, just enough so they don’t come across as humourless dicks, but not so far that they end up with that condescending sense of artiness. You can’t rock and roll like this without being into the music and that sense of freedom and release. You can tell that these guys – Gary X-Ray, Lee Love, Fast Jimmy HP (as in HP Sauce? – Keith Richards loves his HP) and Skintight Tim – abso-fucking-lutely love playing in this band, and why wouldn’t they?

The Hip Priests won’t necessarily change your world, but they will make your corner of it a much more happening place to be. Find yrself a tattooed babe like covergirl Lady Frankenstein, lay in some vodka, meth, hydro and a bag of toys from yr local adult supermarket, crank up ‘Tight n Exciting’ and do what comes most unnaturally!
Written by: Earl O'Neill

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