If you suddenly have the desire to collect The Hip Priests 7 inchers, just forget it already! That’s tantamount to saying you are gonna start collecting Star Wars figures or Kiss merchandise…there’s just too damn many, they’re too expensive and you won’t find ‘em all! But lucky for you, those fuckin’ boys have saved you the trouble and gathered together the lost gems, the hard to find cuts and the curios for all The Hip Priest fanboys and fangals to salivate over.
Yes, if you are a fully-fledged member of the Spasm Gang or even just a casual fan, (ie you don’t wear black denim every fuckin’ day!) then you probably already own the comprehensive double album ‘A Decade Of Disdain’. An album that brought together the best of The Hip Priests singles released over 2 pretty coloured records. And if you don’t, then give yourself a slap and get it sorted before we have words!
Well, ‘Solid Gold Easy Option’ is The Hip Priests strike back! 17 hard to find tracks from singles and EPs released between 2017-2019. That’s 6 cover versions bastardised by the band, sandwiched between 11 glorious original jams previously unavailable to mere mortals until now.
If quality, high octane garage rock is your thing, if you dig sonically seductive sounds delivered with more filth and fury than a Johnny Depp/Amber Heard weekend bender, then ‘Solid Gold Easy Option’ is right up your street. The dirty, the clean and the truly obscene rub sweaty shoulders and bloody knuckles in a defiant “fuck you!” to society, with no hint of socially distancing going on.
The epic ‘No Time (Like Right Now)’ is present and correct. Clocking in at just under 10 minutes, it’s their punk rock masterpiece, channelling the power of the MC5 with the horns and suss of Rocket From The Crypt, while they rant a diatribe about political skulduggery and post Brexit fuckery. It’s a punk rock anthem for right now. The other 3 tracks from that EP are present and correct, but the punk and belligerent ‘All My Rowdy Friends Are Dead’ and album closer ‘I’m Too Good’ seems to pale in comparison to the overly cool ‘She’s A Queen’. It sounds like Ian Astbury jamming with The Hellacopters, with one finger piano stabs, overly fuzzy guitars and vocals delivered straight from the crotch. It could be my favourite Hip Priests song right now.
Covers-wise, the likes of Motorhead’s ‘The Hammer’ and Demons ‘ Hot Running Blood’ are perfect Hip Priests fodder and stay pretty true to the originals. The Stooges ‘Loose’ is suitably ramshackle, sped up and delivered with guts and glory. Saxon’s ‘Play It Loud’ follows the same path and sounds epic. It’s only Adam & The Ants classic ‘Press Darlings’ that doesn’t really benefit from the Hip Priests rough n’ ready, punk rock treatment for me.
Just because this is a b sides compilation, it doesn’t mean the quality has to suffer. ‘Nihilist Twist’ is a brutal, chanting 2 minute assault on the senses. ‘Dead By Sunday’ literally out ‘copters The Hellacopters and ‘I’m In Exile’ is all killer no filler. Wah-wah infused guitars fight with power chords as newest recruit Gentle Ben fills the right speaker and Austin the left, or is it the other way round? Who knows! But what I do know is the twin guitar attack sounds mighty.
27 singles, 3 EPs and 4 albums since their inception in 2007. It’s true to say that ‘Solid Gold Easy Option’ is more than just a stop-gap collection of odds and sods to keep their fanbase happy until album number 5 drops later this year. This is a quality collection of songs from shit island’s best-kept secret, and any self-respecting punk rock junkie should have it in their collection. The only trouble is do you choose green or blue vinyl?
Buy ‘Solid Gold Easy Option’ Here
Author: Ben Hughes