The Hurriers‘ three song EP, Truth and Justice, combines the aggressive political ideologies of early British punk bands like The Clash with the pop sensibilities of contemporary bands like Kaiser Chiefs. Unlike most modern punk bands whose political and socially charged lyrics are often vague at best, two of the three songs on this EP feature lyrics that create geographical and historical context for their dissatisfaction and rebellion. The title track was inspired by a violent incident between coal miners and police referred to as the Battle of Orgreave.
In the EP’s second track, “Happy Families”, the band takes aim at the hypocrisy of rich politicians who market themselves to the “common man” while making themselves millionaires by exploiting the labour of people less fortunate. The lyrics in “Enjoy the Storm” embrace traditionally vague calls for revolution, but do so with a beautifully poetic flair that easily stirs the listener into the mindset of an activist.
The most surprising thing about the aggressive nature of the lyrics on this record is the relative softness of the music itself. “Enjoy The Storm” has an upbeat pop vibe that would easily fit in on any The Clash record, a band legendary for mixing revolutionary ideas with catchy rock songs. “Happy Families” begins with a bass riff that sounds like it could have been the opening to any number of Black Flag songs before shifting into a bouncy pop tune that brings to mind bands like Franz Ferdinand and Kaiser Chiefs with a light ska feel, paying tribute to punk’s long tradition of blending with that genre. “Truth and Justice” is sonically the closest song on the EP to a proper punk song. Its quick tempo, impressive drumming, lightning speed guitar riffs and occasionally repetitive chant-like vocals give its message a strength and urgency characteristic of any good punk song.
I applaud The Hurriers’ determination to mold their sound around the classic definition of punk, as an attitude or mindset rather than a particular style of music. The Truth and Justice EP, in its short running time, embraces the genre’s rich history and mixes classic influences with modern ones and clever pop sensibility.
Written by Brian Clarke