The Hurriers formed just under one year ago with one aim in mind, to play modern songs of protest in support of and to create awareness of campaigns such as the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, striking NHS UNISON members, Anti-Bedroom Tax protesters, UNITE Community Branch and People Assembly. Along the way they raised lots of money, but in doing so they ended up forming a heafty fan base. Their gigs became more frequent, spreading their word at local music festivals as well as benefit gigs. As a live band, they gradually introduced their own songs in amongst covered acts such as The Clash and The Redskins, and they played punk with a large dollop of soul.
They have the unusual rarity of a Father and son in the band – in fact the band spans two generations and their gigs are increasingly seeing a growing younger and politicised audience, as well many older music lovers. Most of the band members are known for playing in other popular local bands, both past and present, including This Condition, Midnight Hitch, Stronger Than Dirt and The Barn.
The announcement of a debut EP is good news for local music lovers in a town that has a strong history of protest.
The “Truth and Justice EP” is a reflection of what happened at Orgreave and is released in the first week of 2014 to coincide with the 30th Anniversary of the Miner’s Strike of ’84. The 3 tracks were recorded at 2Fly in Sheffield and were produced by Alan Smyth, famed for producing the first Arctic Monkeys album, Pulp, Richard Hawley and many more.
The EP opens with title track and EP highlight, Truth and Justice. The drum work sounds like it comes from someone much more seasoned than the young Zak Wright and on the verse, there is even a hint of Bobbie Gillespie in the vocals. It fuses perfectly old school punk with a more anthemic and modern indie sound. It’s a song of two-parts though. Part two features the fist in the air lyrics, ‘the miner’s united would not have been defeated, if Thatcher’s police state hadn’t left them cheated’, and is backed by a blistering guitar solo. The song fades out with just the chorus of chants, echoing the sounds of protests past.
Happy Families has a stand out basslined again, with lashings of funk and an overall ska and dub feel to the verse. This time round Tony’s vocal tone is a mix of Joe Strummer, Ricky Wilson and Sean Rider. Heavy lyrics about we, the 99%, and bedroom tax, and a chorus of ‘we’re all in this together, or so the tory’s say’ is a brilliant chanted rant and an amazing call to arms.
Enjoy the Storm has much more of a mod vibe to this one, and the anthemic chorus is The Jam meets the Kaiser Chiefs but with gnashing teeth. I don’t want the mention of the Kaiser to put off the punks either. If punk is an attitude, an ideology, than this sticks to that manifesto, albeit with a modern touch.
It’s difficult to pull of this much political retort and not let the quality of music drop, but The Hurriers do it so well. The EP cements the notion that The Hurriers is a band that can appeal to various generations; they mix genres seamlessly. The music and lyrics are upbeat, angry, positive and yet biting. Truth and Justice is a fitting tribute to those that fought, those that still do and an alarming reminder that there is much unfinished business to get on with.
I’VE JUST BEEN INFORMED THAT THE EP WILL BE AVAILABLE FROM DEBUT RECORDS AS OF SAT 21st DEC>
Details of where to see the next gig or of how to get hold of the CD will be available on the band’s Twitter and Facebook page.
To find out more about the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, visit otjc.org.uk