TV Priest - Upper |  Album reviews

For over a decade we in Britain have been ruled and crushed by the absolute embarrassment of a government made up of a political party so lacking in compassion and decency that it is morally uncomfortable, transparently corrupt and blatantly misanthropic towards its citizens, she voted for them, and especially those who voted for the opposition. Wages have stagnated, hate crimes are rising, while unemployment and homelessness are inevitable on this shrinking island.

Of course, this negligent mess and shameless abuse of power comes as no surprise, and the public’s response to the toxic disdain oozing through their public appearances finds its way into some of the greatest pieces of music made today. Case in point is the debut release of London’s post-punk gobshites TV Priest, which alongside the likes of Neutral and shameare here to cast a damn critical eye on a patriarchal establishment completely devoid of empathy.

The full explosion of bass and guitars by Nic Bueth and Alex Sprogis, bolstering tracks like The Big Curve, Decoration and Slideshow, is as gritty, unstoppable heavy and dominant as world leader Charlie Drinkwater does. His bitter delivery reminds you James Murphy In its most drunk, corpulent, and vicious form, the vocal frustrations are lost in the intrusive feedback. Despite frequent comparisons with late ones The autumn Deity Mark E Smith, the album is more reminiscent of the driving grunge scratches of groups like Then and the politicized feminist anger of L7which is apt as it is released worldwide through Sub Pop, the revered label they both recorded for, and is finally returning to its aggressive roots after two decades of twee electronica and freak folk confusion.


Journal Of A Plague Year and History Week are the two tracks whose ritual anger and fatalistic beauty highlight them amid the rising mud of judgment. Journal accuses you of a hardworking Krautrock riff and Ed Kelland’s viscous drumming, while Drinkwater speaks ad libs about the febrile effects of Covid-19 on our livelihoods, linking it to the bump terror that the world felt centuries ago in the last dark Age was exposed. The lines spit “Hey buddy, normalize this. Hey buddy, dig this pit, you better get used to it,” he reminds us that the psychological warfare that underlies our deteriorating collective psyche is nothing new and immediate action requires. In the elegiac, unbridled, and unholy tale, a flood of phlegmatic tonal energies is carried away by stubborn bursts of feedback.

It all comes together on the closer Saintless, where Drinkwater takes advantage of his religious nature and preaches on the unbridled and unholy joys of fatherhood and the dualistic threat when faced with mortality again. His chorus says, “We’re not saints, but that’s fine. Would you have it any other way?” This album is a testament to the group’s belief that tackling social injustice can demonize them, but the answer to the question is emphatically, no, we wouldn’t.