The RingMaster Review: Thee Vicars "I Wanna Be Your Vicar"
It has to be said that whenever there is a new release on Dirty Water Records there is always a twinge of anticipation and excitement, rarely has there been deep disappointment in the quality of the music from their bands. The same applies to the new album from Thee Vicars, a release that thrills and excites whilst lifting emotions no matter their starting point to a height of grinning satisfaction. Following up their excellent single Everyday, the band from Bury St Edmunds, England have released a collection of unfettered and eagerly pleasing garage rock, mod, 60’s beat, and R&B rock tunes that light up the emotions and heart. Simple, direct and hell of a lot of fun I Wanna Be Your Vicar is nothing but a piece of irresistible pleasure.
I Wanna Be Your Vicar is the third album from the band which is now down to the trio of Mike Whittaker (bass/vocals), Chris Langeland (guitar/vocals), and Alex De Renzi (drums). Released May 7th the album sees the band even tighter than ever and still fuelled by their irrepressible garage sounds but with an even more varied and flavoursome result. To date the band has shared stages with the likes of The Horrors, Black Lips, and The Mummies to name three and it is obvious they have absorbed and twisted the inspiration gained into their own extra spices as shown on the album. The music of the band is not the height of originality though there are not many that bring the vibrant mix this band do, but it is completely and deeply captivating and infectious.
The release opens with the playful and feisty title track, its mischievous beckoning charm an instant connection for the ear and beyond. The guitar of Langeland jangles and slices through the ear with sharp skill whilst the bass of Whittaker is a boisterous yet almost shy presence alongside. Leading it all to bear is the excellent beats of De Renzi, her rhythms direct and enthused but tight within the compact structure here and of each song perfectly. With the added keys laying their impulsive fingers and palms on the song it is an opening gem that only raises the enthusiasm for what is to follow.
Next up I’ll Be Gone raise things another level with its sparkling sixties punk flow, each note and word carrying a wink and a smile that only inspires further emotional applause and adoration. The infection really started from the first note of the release but as this and each subsequent songs swaggers and teases one is drawn defencelessly into adding their own willing vocal sounds and eager limbs, the contagion impossible to prevent.
What follows from now on is an unrelenting pleasuring of the senses from the next up Johnny Cash tinged Lights through tracks like the early The Horrors meets the Stones I Feel Alright with its agitated energy and disruptive beats and the impassioned love song Your Eyes with its more than strong sense of an illicit longing through to the rock n roll/mod stomp of Crocodile Chomp, a mix of Sam Cooke, Chuck Berry and Thee Mighty Caesars. Each and every song in their different guises ignite and warm the senses with an excited love of their inspirations and what they bring that can only be transferred to the listener and their hearts.
As great as the album is to this point the band save the best tracks for the latter stages starting with the brilliant Hauser & O’Brian. With a Troggs meets My Red Cell sound the track is glorious, a patient stroll with rasping riffs and caustic melodies and a siren touch. It is caked in the garage dirt and scuzzy sound that simply excites like a wanton temptress, the always distinct vocals of Whitaker finding an extra nasally and emotive depth. The song is soon equalled by the bristling Kinks tasting Satisfy You and of course the magnificent previous single Everyday. The more the single has pleasured the ear in recent weeks the more it has captured the heart with its insatiable mixture of the doo wop of 70’s band Darts and the electrified rawness of 13th Floor Elevators and again The Horrors, all treated with the inspired uniqueness of Thee Vicars.
I Wanna Be Your Vicar is a fully rewarding pleasure, a release to make you feel good no matter the nature of your day. Thee Vicars stood right at the front of garage styled rock and punk and with his album have announced they plan to be there a long time.