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My Other People is a sturdy yet familiar return from TV Priest

"My Other People"

Release date: 17 June 2022
Tv priest my other people art
16 June 2022, 21:03 Written by Ross Horton
TV Priest’s new album, My Other People, is the eagerly-awaited sequel to last year’s Uppers, and both have found a home on legendary US grunge label Sub Pop.

Described as being evocative of – or certainly reminiscent of – The Fall, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Protomartyr, The National and The Twilight Sad and all of the other dark and gloomy post-punkers that seem to make up the base palette of influences for every modern British rock band to emerge in the past few years, and while that may sound dismissive, it’s actually an endorsement.

See, this ‘new wave’ of British and Irish rock (including Fontaines D.C., of course) has produced some of the most thrillingly enjoyable albums of the past decade, from Dogrel and New Long Leg to Brutalism and Bright Green Field. Uppers – while very, very close – just missed the mark and didn’t make the same kind of impact that any of those aforementioned records did, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.

The band – vocalist Charlie Drinkwater, guitarist Alex Sprogis, bass and keys player Nic Bueth (who’s also the producer) and drummer Ed Kelland – are all superb throughout My Other People, where not a single moment seems wasted or unnecessary. The key factor in any listener’s enjoyment of this second offering will be whether they can get past Drinkwater’s aggressive vocal style and its noticeable antecedents (Joe Casey being a key influence here).

As for the songs, the biggest successes come when the band vary the tempo. “Limehouse Cut”, with its slower, almost ponderous pace, allows for Drinkwater’s voice to reach a Berninger-esque seductive languor. “It Was Beautiful” picks up the pace, and the shrapnel-sharp guitars are genuinely magical. “Sunland” brings things to a close with a more methodical, more thoughtful rhythm than you’ll find on the rest of the album, and it makes for one of the highlights of the set.

Some of the more anonymous moments – “Bury Me In My Shoes” could be one of a hundred other bands – are still enjoyable and a lot of fun if eye-bulging post-punk is your bag. “The Happiest Place on Earth” hits a lot of the same pleasure centres that early The National does, which will be some measure of comfort for those of you out there that couldn’t abide I Am Easy to Find.

This is an album that already has its target market – and its detractors – in view. Where Fontaines D.C. have constantly shifted their sound, and Protomartyr have evolved at a glacial pace, TV Priest’s new album just feels like more of the same, making for a consistently solid record that orbits a little too closely to what great bands have done before to ever be taken truly seriously on its own merits. It’s full of genuinely bracing moments that deftly thread punk grit with austere humour and unabashed sincerity. It’s just a shame that what they’re best at seems to have been done so well so recently by other bands.

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