Hipflask Virgins have become stalwarts of the Worcester scene over the last few years, and the announcement of their second EP Electric Dinosaur has given plenty for rock fans to look forward to. The latest single, “Icarus”, gives us another taste (after the stellar “Dutch Courage”) of what the EP has in store, treating us to meaty, memorable riffs from guitarist/lead vocalist Jay Lawson-Pearce and thrashing beats from drummer/backing vocalist Will Diment.
As with “Dutch Courage”, the grit and sleaze are as thick and heavy as the distorted fuzz on the band’s signature riffs. While the former dealt with the lure (and consequences) of alcohol, this follow-up shifts the focus to another unsavoury influence that leads our tortured narrator astray—a “succubus” offering “a love that doesn’t touch the sides”.
While drenched in angst and introspection, “Icarus” is no hangover of its predecessor. The seductive grooves reflect the undeniable thrill of the narrator’s vices while the lyrics lament his inability to resist them. “Like a moth to a flame, I’m drawn to her sun”.
Hipflask Virgins’ musicianship—honed over years of live performance in venues around the UK—is more than accomplished enough to lay this internal conflict bare with conviction. Jay Lawson-Pearce’s anguished, gravel-throated vocals are reminiscent of the duo’s ‘90s grunge influences, and Will Diment’s thunderous, cymbal-heavy drumming crashes its way to oblivion.
Anyone who has seen the band live can attest to the sheer power of their sound, and this has been replicated in the recording and production by the pair themselves, carried out in Will’s home studio. This raw power is chaotic yet refined and enhances—rather than contradicts—the open-wound vulnerability of their lyrics.
The single’s hand-drawn cover by artist Antidote (aka Christian Burton), which depicts the titular Icarus besuited and plummeting from the sky above a metropolis, is also the perfect accompaniment to the band’s sound.
Unlike Icarus himself, the only trajectory for Hipflask Virgins is up, with their sound becoming ever more clarified.
“Icarus” is available on all major streaming platforms. The Electric Dinosaur EP is released on 28th January 2022.
By: Dan Knight