Earlier this year there was some sad news when British punk rock institution Bangers announced they were calling it a day. Something that made it even sadder for me was that I missed their last ever gig as I was sick. But good news! Former Bangers singer and guitarist Roo and drummer Hamish have formed a new band with Kelly Kemp (ex No Comply/current Dear Everyone) named The Hippaes. On December 19th the trio release a cassette on Keroleen Records named I Just Want To Float In The Void. It will also be available through Keroleen Records Bandcamp page as a digital download. I was lucky enough to get a early copy to review.
The opening song on I Just Want To Float In The Void is named Truffle Hunter. If you were expecting a loud distorted punk rock sound with Roo's harsh growly vocals then you best think again as Kelly Kemp takes lead vocal duties here and on the whole release. The guitars aren't as in your face either, they are more subtle with quite an easy going melody. The melody for some reason reminds me of the 1960s film Bugsy Malone. I don't know why it reminds me of this but I really like it. Up next is a song titled Float In The Void. This is a slow moving song that really allows Kemp's impressive vocals to shine. It really is mesmerising as she sings about "taking a ride in a filament light bulb." The chorus on the track is superbly catchy and is sure to get a crowd of people singing along with the band. The line "Boy Oh Boy, I Just Want To Float In The Void" is already lodged in my brain. As much as I enjoyed Kemp on this song, it was great to hear Roo add some harmonies towards the end of the song - giving it a fuller sound.
The third song on the release is the song Sou'wester. For those unaware (like I was before I Googled it) a Sou'wester is a traditional form of a collapsible rain hat. The Hippaes made a superb video for this song featuring stick puppets which I couldn't help but smile when I watched. This fun burst of indie pop punk wastes no time in getting going. It has a great summery feel to it and you can't help but want to dance along with the song. The song is about having the drive and determination to push on with your life despite things not being perfect. Finally we have a song titled Have You Ever Been Let Down. After all the sunshine and happiness of Sou'wester, Have You Ever Been Left Down certainly feels a lot more downbeat. The song is about feeling frustrated with the people around you and, like the title says, being let down. I really enjoyed the guitars on this song. There is a simple melody being played but if you listen carefully there is a wonderfully twisty piece of guitar playing that you can hear underneath the main guitar. I feel like I should try and explain what I mean by "twisty." It kind of sounds like if you were looking at sheet music the line you are following starts going round corners and doing loop de loops which causes a fantastic sound. That may not make sense to anyone but me but in my head that's how it sounds!
Roo and Hamish were always going to continue to make music after the demise of Bangers but I was a little surprised that they are back so quickly. They actually recorded this barely a week after the final Bangers gig and this is a wonderfully enthusiastic release. The Hippaes will fit nicely into the UK's fast growing indie-punk scene.
Stream and download I Just Want To Float In The Voide here: https://keroleenrecords.bandcamp.com/album/i-just-want-to-float-in-the-void