There are four major hints before even listening to a single song on the album that it’s going to be a fantastic thing. Firstly, the band’s name: Thee Hugs. Every band with Thee tacked onto the beginning has a legendary status. Thee Oh Sees, Thee Headcoats, Thee Hugs. It’s a thing, trust me. Secondly, the album name: Drug Use and Alcohol Abuse. With a name like that, it’s not like your going into the album blind; you know that there’s going to be drug references abound, like a 2013 Fear and Loathing. Awesome sauce. Thirdly, the band members that form Thee Hugs are from the other juggernaut Brissy garage sphincters Tiny Migrants and Sulphur Lights. Highly recommend checking these acts out, if you have a soul. I mean, I don’t have a soul, and I fucking love them, so imagine how you’re going to react. Finally, the artwork for the album is done by Sam McKenzie, who also did cover art for the infamous Velociraptor and everyone’s favourite rabbit-masked maniac Nobunny, amongst others. So yes, before even listening to a track, I’m confident that I’m in very good hands.
And….I’m correct. Holy Fuck, am I correct. ‘Drug Use and Alcohol Abuse’ is a monstrous blistering ride through insanity. It cruises through the seedy streets of Brisbane in it’s shitty Toyota, picking up mates like The Wipers and White Lung, trying and failing to score with hotties like Tyvek and The Reatards, and finally ending the night by scoring some smack of this dodgy dealer called King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard. That dude was fucking crazy.
Anyway, the LP is a spaced out, sped up affair that throws its weight around in sub-zero gravity, just because it can. Tracks like ‘She’s My Girl’ and ‘You Can Run But You Can’t Hide’ showcase a Cramps horror-punk style, enlisting reckless abandon and shoving it up every orifice of insane until spew erupts from the concept’s nostrils. Then there’s stuff like ‘Somebody Pooed in the Pool’ and ‘Nazi Shooter’ that are just plain fucking weird for the sake of it. Did I mention I love it? Because I do, I really fucking do.
Thee Hugs are unruly and unrestricted in the best sense of the word. For a debut album, this breaks all the boundaries of what is considered normal, and that is a fan-fuckin-tastic thing. It’s beautiful in it’s ugliness, shining a light into the murky water just to see how big of a shit is down there. Hint: it’s gargantuan, and you gotta be at least a little bit impressed. Very good stuff. Very, very, very good stuff. Lux Interior would be so proud.