I’m not sure quite when it happened. But, in addition to their brilliant name, at some point I went from just being impressed with Hookers for Jesus to being impressed by them AND liking not just their brilliant name but also their music.
So I’ve genuinely been looking forward to the final version of their debut E.P. ‘Hymns for Beautiful Losers’, a rough mix of which was given away at a Cool Cat Club show in the autumn.
The key instrument within the band’s palette is Graeme’s acoustic guitar which features throughout the 5 track set, despite ‘Hymns’ being a diverse piece of work, .
First off is ‘Cabaret Song’, a story of a trip gone wrong, which represents the darker, more ominous side of Hookers for Jesus. The song has an atmospheric opening, the acoustic framed by a big dubby bass, but it’s Graeme’s slightly offbeat crunching, metallic guitar over the chorus which emphasises the song’s narrative.
By contrast second track ‘Promised Me Dots’ is unashamedly an acoustic pop tune. Yet, in amongst the jam of the melody, there’s at least some grit if not ground glass as a slightly off beat drum lends the tune a disconcerting air.
‘Drifting Into Unthank’ is the centrepiece of the E.P. The backing vocals are by turn spectral and operatic and some fantastic electric guitar has been added to the tune since the rough mix. It’s a tune with epic scope fired by a grand ambition.
‘ On A Night Like This’ Is another pop song, albeit a wistful one. Another of the E.P.’s highlights, its guitar on this can reasonably be described as pretty.
Closing track ‘We Are All Broken People Now’ returns the record to darker territory. I think there’s some jet black humour in here but its closing words are unmistakeably bitter.
Inventive and ambitious, Hookers for Jesus are currently ploughing their own distinctive furrow. I genuinely can’t think of another band in Scotland at the moment like them.
The EP is available on CD from Groucho’s in Dundee and Avalanche and Elvis Shakespeare in Edinburgh. Of course it’s also available via the band’s own Bandcamp, where you can also get the download.
Here’s a listen to the E.P.’s key track: