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December 2020 / January 2021
Album review

TV Priest - Uppers

A singular vision of a disparate time.
Label: Sub Pop
Released: 13th November 2020
Rating: ★★★★
TV Priest - Uppers
Published: 1:54 pm, October 29, 2020Words: Jamie MacMillan.

You could be forgiven for thinking we were approaching the point where someone could probably announce that we’ve got enough post-punk bands now really haven’t we? But wait! Call off the dogs! Because London’s TV Priest, a band that have played a grand total of one gig ever, are here to show us that there’s still plenty of life left in this particular beast. Such is the nature of 2020, their debut tour might have been cancelled, but happily the gamble of still ploughing ahead with their album looks to have paid off (for now).

‘Uppers’ is self-produced and sounds it, but in a good way. Ragged yet tight, sprawling yet focussed, it’s a singular vision of a disparate time. It rounds up most of the usual suspects of our Un-united Kingdom, the pop culture, the insularity, the lies on the side of a bus, but manages to breathe new life into those old tropes by sheer force of personality. “We’re better off uninformed” spits Charlie Drinkwater witheringly at one point, carrying the same ‘I can’t believe I still have to deal with this shit’ disgust of a young Nick Cave. One moment he is roaring uncomfortable truths, the next he is coming out with the sort of dark mumblings you might hear on a 3am nightbus. All the while, guitars drive and surge relentlessly.

As the likes of ‘Fathers And Sons’ builds on jagged angular guitars into something crashing and gargantuan, it is frankly a sin that the ‘situation’ has robbed most of us from seeing these play live yet. How they keep the momentum from this going until rooms can get sweaty and intimate again is a problem for another day. For now, enjoy another fine addition to a scene that shows no sign of slowing down yet.

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