Those Fucking Boys. A Decade of Disdain - The Hip Priests (Self Destructo/Ghost Highway)

those fucking boysIt’s said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again. If it’s true, The Hip Priests deserve a lengthy rest in a luxury grade rock and roll rubber room. One with booze on tap, room service high-class hookers and a mound of coke. Praise the lord and pass the straight jackets.  

These Pommy punks from Nottingham have been driving their sonic battering ram against the gates of mainstream acceptance for a decade now without breaching its defences. Fame and fortune have clearly evaded them but they make it obvious that they couldn’t give a fuck. 

“Those Fucking Boys…” compiles 10 years worth of singles and EPs on a CD or double LP for the first time. Be warned, playing it all in one session from go to whoa is a breathless and rewarding experience. There are 27 songs and none of them come within a bull’s roar of subtlety or good taste. These are dirty, lowdown good for nothing anthems and the brake pedal only features in The Hip Priests’ repertoire when it’s time to stop one song and start another.

This is full-tilt gutter-level punk with maximum bad attitude. No surprises are dished up but no quarter is given, either. Its velocity is only matched by its brashness. Songs titles like “Motherfucker Superior”, “Make War Not Love” and “Spasm Gang” give the game away before it’s begun. 

“Jesus Died So We Can Ride” gives Turbonego a run for its rent boy money. The glammy “Sha Na Na Na Nihilist” could tear mid-period Ramones a new hole in their jeans. While we’re in New York City, the breakneck “I’m a Fucking Genius” recalls Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom. 

“Love Is The Drugs” is good enough to send Brian Ferry to rehab while bearing no relation to the song it more or less name-checks. The Priests actually do tackle Roxy Music’s “Do The Strand” - and of course they give it a good kicking. 

So I lied about every track being a runaway truck: The Coop’s “Is It My Body” gets a snarly, mid-tempo treatment and it cooks like a top-end stove in Gordon Fucking Ramsay’s kitchen.  

Bless me father for I have sinned: I didn’t largely get into the Priests' last album, “Black Denim Blitz”, because it sounded a little monotonous. Some of its songs re-surface here, but they work a treat in this company. It might pay to re-visit that disc.

Full credit to the whole band for its single-mindedness but especially to guitarist Austin Rocket (Fast Jimmy is on two tracks) and Nathan Van Cruz for his nagging, frantic vocals. 

Next time you see yet another a Robin Hood re-make playing at the movies, give it a miss. The Merry Men of the Hip Priests are Nottingham's best advert and they are where it's at. Bullseye!

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Tags: garage, rock and roll , english, hip priests

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