TV Priest – My Other People – Album Review
by Killian Laher
English band TV Priest have been quickly gathering something of a following, and they recently released their second album, ploughing the somewhat crowded furrow of post-punk. Opener One Easy Thing starts quietly before a lurching rollicking rhythm takes over the song, anchored by singer Charlie Drinkwater. It has to be said he sounds like Joe Casey of Protomartyr transported to England. It’s one of several belters on this album. Burn In My Shoes has a thrilling, stomping backbeat over which Drinkwater howls “life only comes in flashes of greatness” to very pleasing effect before it ends with a snatch of almost chilled-out ambience. I Have Learnt Nothing struts its stuff gleefully with shades of Idles, while It Was Beautiful bears the pulsing bassline that Peter Hook specialised in with Joy Division, and the title track is similarly bass-driven. Later Unravelling and It Was A Gift again bear the influence of Protomartyr but stop short of imitation. None of these tracks outstays their welcome.
It’s not all punch-the-air style rockers. The brooding Limehouse Cut, shares more than a title with the late Cathal Coughlan, picking its way through some gloriously murky guitar by way of the type of thing you used to hear from the National. On the other hand, The Happiest Place On Earth is a relatively brief, stripped-down strum, and its position midway through breaks up the album nicely as Drinkwater croons “I’m in the happiest place on earth”. The final track Sunland plods along moodily for three or four minutes, rounding off the album. But what is something else entirely is The Breakers. Built on a mid-paced strum, it’s reminiscent of early National at their most brooding as Drinkwater howls “I got friends, I got friends” as the music builds around him. It’s by far the best track here.
The genre invites inevitable comparisons with other bands, which are impossible to avoid, on what is, if not a very original album, a very enjoyable album. The slower material, and especially The Breakers show where this band can potentially go and it might be wise to head down towards the lesser-trodden paths.
Bury Me In My Shoes