The artwork for alt-rock duo Hipflask Virgins’ new single “Dutch Courage” is immediately striking—an illustration by artist Antidote (a.k.a. Christian Burton) of a half-crushed can of lager bearing the name of the band and song.
Anyone who has been to any of the duo’s raucous live shows in Worcestershire or beyond will know how well this image encapsulates their sound—brewed with passion to deliver a thrill, and particularly suited to sweaty rock bars.
According to the band, “Dutch Courage is the anthem for anyone that has ever got into trouble whilst under the influence.” The single is the first from the band’s upcoming second EP Electric Dinosaur, the successor to 2020’s accomplished debut EP Isolation Shitbox.
This track hits the mark just as accurately as anything from their debut, with the band’s trademark combination of angst-ridden heaviness and melodic pop sensibilities on full display. Guitarist Jay once again brings plenty of riffs to the party, drummer Will provides a punishing backbone, and both of their vocal performances are as strong as expected.
The Pixies-esque quiet-verse-loud-chorus dynamic embodies the ups and downs of a night on the sauce. The pummelling riffs (of which there are multiple, and each one infectious) invoke the titular courage, with the duo sounding exactly the way you feel after a few pints—like an invincible force of nature. The muted, half-whispered verses that punctuate the commotion sound like anxious hangovers; all guilt-ridden soul-searching (“how did things ever get this far / treating hearts like open bars”) to relentless metronomic drums.
By the time the kick-drum-heavy coda comes around, the self-destruction is in full swing, consequences be damned. The refrain of “all I want is another round” is relatable in more ways than one—the replay button on this track is pretty inviting, and thankfully won’t give you a hangover.
“Dutch Courage” is released on all relevant platforms on the 26th of November 2021. You can Pre-save Dutch Courage now, on various platforms.
By: Dan Knight