Another day, another single featuring The Hip Priests. Do those boys ever sleep? It’s got to the stage now where I’ve had to borrow a shouty 10am drunk from outside of Wetherspoons and remove his socks and shoes (as well as my own) to do the singles count. It’s twenty something; we ran out of fingers and toes! Before we delve into the tunes, we must give some sleeve design kudos. For their side of the split, there’s a homage to The Dragons’ Cheers To Me LP sleeve featuring none other than Ken Horne, now in The Bronx. Not a bad punk rock wormhole, eh?
With an ode to getting blasted, The Priests present Cheers To Me in their formidable garage rock style. It usually doesn’t take me long to get into their dirty groove but then the penny dropped on why things weren’t so instant on this occasion. With horns and female backing vocals, the Nottingham ne’er-do-wells set the bar so ridiculously high on their previous outing with the politically charged 10 minute opus that was No Time (Like Right Now), it takes some beating, even by their own standards. You could say Cheers To Me is the sound of “classic” Hip Priests. Cue nihilism and narcissism with a finger on the self-destruct button and a tongue planted firmly in their cheek. The song will instantly establish itself as a live favourite with its “HELL! YEAH!” call and response begging for their faithful Spasm Gang fan club to join them for a JD or fifty on stage.
Going head to head with The Hip Priests is a dangerous task, even if you have been plying your punk rock ‘n’ roll trade since 1995, as well as having the honour of The Hellacopters committing one of your tracks to tape. Enter Sweden’s “Demons” with Baphomet Briefs; a catchy ‘77 punk infused fizz bomb drenched in power pop. It’s straight to the pogoing point with no frills. I’m sure no frills are present on those devil knickers they sing about though, the cheeky scamps!
Each band also takes a turn in tackling one another’s hits with The Priests taking on Hot Running Blood and “Demons” doing battle with Terminal Lust for good measure. It’s another 45 that’ll no doubt sell-out in record time so don’t hang about if you wanna continue your extensive collection of both band’s bulging discographies. Just make sure you pre-order a change of underwear at the same time. Ginge Knievil