I Love My Job by The Tom Hingley Band – Album Review
By Victoria Holdsworth
This long awaited release comes five years after the success of the double album, Sand & Paper, and is an album that offers snippets of social and political nuances that really grind ex-Inspiral Carpet Tom Hingley‘s gears, and is as outspoken as you would expect.
The album opens with an ominous tolling bell, then straight into the first track, ‘Black Light’, which is brooding and well executed, and has some brutally striking vocals from Tom, which some may not expect if they are used to his former band’s numbers. There is something very dirty and hard hitting about the start of this album, and it’s already got me hooked.
‘Glory Days’ might be the kind of tune you would hear on Sky Sports montage clips. It is a great anthem, very similar to the Jam classic ‘When You’re Young’, covering the same subject matters almost. It has that same driving mod bass and drums, which is always a winner.
“Guitar work is exceptional”
‘Bullet’ is punky and one of the album’s standout tracks. The lyrics are acidic and damning, showing the author’s passion in a musically stripped down, bare bones, raw tune. It just propels you to pogo.
Then a complete change of tack with the track ‘Beautiful Girl’ – rich and warm vocally and musically, with some directing string work that complements the entirety of the song. This works into the next song, ‘Beggars Hand’. However, this time the bass leads the way through the bouncing track, making it instantly feel like a song you have always had in your soul, and is another standout.
‘Prodigal Son’ starts with some funky string arrangement, and again, has slightly Jam-inspired tones. The lyrics paint a damning picture of society and its values, and just how ugly things can be. I have to say that the guitar work on this is exceptional, and will have you rocking out completely. This is a new direction for Tom and I love it! Is there nothing this man cannot turn his hand to?
‘Nasty People’ is another tale of human woes, coming from a political stand point, as Hingley sings: “How your pain gives ‘em wings, you seem to be so keen, to remain ethnically clean, you know you live in the past, all you had to do was ask.” Again the arrangement is ambitious but it works in a nursery rhyme beat, which makes the lyrics stand out even more.
‘White Sheep’ is another epic tune, with an intro redolent of ‘Tom Sawyer’ by Rush. The emotion Hingley displays in this song is astounding and the percussion is second to none to keep the track flowing over some wickedly fuzzed out guitar.
The final track, ‘Shining For Somebody Else’, is very chilled out and jangly, with complete indietastic guitars and keyboards – it’s a complete gem of a song that most people could relate to. The cheeky little harmonies thrown in really work and light the whole track up.
Hingley still wears his heart still very firmly on his sleeve, and I Love My Job, is a remarkably consistent album, with the best songs balancing menace and buoyancy, melody and groove. The musical prowess of Tom Hingley and his band is phenomenal. It appears that his creative musical juices are not just flowing, but cascading.