Album review

The Hitchers : Unspoken Truths
Toddler Records

The Hitchers : Unspoken TruthsRockabilly. Punk rock. Ska. Pop punk. Rock 'n' roll. Post '50s pre-rock 'n' roll-core (I made that last one up). Call them what you will, but there is only one real term to aptly describe The Hitchers' debut record: Awesome.
    A 53 minute, 15 track epic bursting with personal failures, friendships and Alicia Silverstone; The Hitchers have produced a storming album that encapsulates their feelings, triumphs and experiences, thrown in the energy of their live shows and presented it all on a super shiny silver platter. The lyrics are deep, amusing and individual, and it sincerely feels like these guys believe in what they sing about, which is certainly not a bad thing.
    The music sounds like Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran belting the seven shades of shit out of each other in a bloody bare-knuckle boxing match, with Joe Strummer as the referee. I can just see Green Day and the Stray Cats sitting ringside cheering them on and throwing stuff. But to be realistic, the above names are more akin to influences than references; The Hitchers are hard to define, and it's perhaps better to just kick back and enjoy the songs rather than ponder over their stylings.

One thing I can tell you is that you might as well put your brain up for sale, these tracks are moving in for good. Unspoken Truths has more hooks than a fishing tournament, and you will find yourself whistling, humming and singing these tunes in an involuntary manner for months to come. The array of songs on the disc make the record accessible on several different levels; from the seriousness of a ruptured childhood on No Kisses For A Broken Face to the bouncy and brilliantly cheesy Missy Girl.
    There's no beating around the bush; The Hitchers present more than a few situations in which girls play a key component. But there are no whiny tributes or slush-ridden dedications and the lyrics are so thoughtful and sharp that The Hitchers distance themselves from the conventional punky songs about ladies. For example, Wrong In The Head features a lovely young lady who keeps a nine inch ice pick in her panty draw, and cold-bloodedly murders her boyfriend so she can seduce Hitchers' frontman Rich. I just hope this shit isn't bona fide . . .
    What's even better than all of this, is the fact that The Hitchers don't come from a sun drenched Californian town, they are as local as it gets: "Take me from the Tees, but she won't leave me" croons Rich in the prominent track Collar Up In Camden Town. Fair enough, England is currently home to such bands like premium punkers 4ft Fingers and Fat Wreck dwellers Consumed, but this album gives the English music scene something diverse and fresh, an accomplishment Rich, Greg and Mike should be really proud of.

If you fancy something that's special and certainly a bit different, run down to your local record shop or get yourself hooked up to the Toddler Records website, and buy this hot piece of plastic. It's punked up enough to thrash out on your sound system, and has enough sounds from the great rock 'n' roll years of the '50s for your mum - hell, even your grandma - to boogie down to.
    Pull up your collar and roll up your sleeves boys and girls; this is genre-busting brilliance.

:: Graham Drummond

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