Dirty Water Records

Taking Music Backwards Into Tomorrow

Happening Magazine: Thee Vicars "I Wanna Be Your Vicar"

With this new album Thee Vicars are on something of a run, writing a brace of great new songs and showing no signs of mellowing out, or diversifying into anything too radical for their fans.

Here and there they do settle into a comfort zone that maybe isn't quite as angry, or as frenetic as some of the output on their previous two long players, but that said they're just as good, and sometimes better than what's gone before. The results of some of the group's wider-ranging influences being brought into the fold are occasionally detectable too.

'Lights', 'Rooftop Blues' and the likes of 'Hauser & O'Brian' display a heftier, swampy blues-ridden fixation, and almost Dylan-esque angle, especially on the phrasing and vocal front; shades of their recent visit touring in the USA no doubt. 'I'll Be Gone' and other selections such as 'Satisfy You' and 'Your Eyes', however, retain that basic Kinks-style garage beat template they've run with since day one. 'Crocodile Chomp' and 'I'll Do You Wrong' were also featured highlights on the group's Get Hip three-tracker out awhile back, and they even get a little psyched-out on the curious 'Should Have Stayed At Home'. Pared-down to just a three-piece for the last coupla years or so, Mike's bass and Chris' guitar antics are suitably anchored by Alex and her crisp and cool no-nonsense brand of drum kit action.

All in all it's a mighty fine third album outing with the R&Beat garage emphasis still very much to the fore throughout the dozen tracks on offer.

Lenny Helsing

Dirty Water Records London