Hygiene 15 Minute City EP

HYGIENE and Static Shock have each been at it for fifteen years now (time flying, etc.), and this new EP serves as a three-part candle on their shared birthday cake. “15 Minute City” returns to a frequent font of HYGIENE lyrical inspiration (the mundanities of city life and labor under late-stage capitalism) by appropriating recent conspiracy theorist critiques of sustainable urban planning with tongues planted firmly in cheek, riding on a fixed-stare, Chairs Missing WIRE-like rhythm before unfolding into an undeniably melodic and slightly askew gang chorus, while “L.T.N.” is a short, sharp stop/start shock like the URINALS gone UK DIY, and the shambolic punk jangler “Petrol” takes on peak oil with customary peak sarcasm (“Man on the news said not to worry / There’s lots and lots to go around”). Ace sounds for navigating the labyrinthine despair of the daily grind.

Hygiene Private Sector LP

London’s finest purveyors of thematic post-punk where all the songs are ripped from the Guardian comments section, or perhaps the “In the Back” section of Private Eye. Brought out of retirement by the specter of Brexit and the likely scenario of Boris über alles, HYGIENE is the group England needs now—specially since they are fronted by a scion of the Commonwealth. Alongside at least three songs dealing with public transport in some way (“Replacement Bus” really captures all the frustrations of, er, having to catch a replacement bus), gammons, free marketers, and pedophile conspirators all come in for ire. For all the spartan rhythms and stark vocal commentary, though, the album connects most directly with the rousing singalong of the future potential folk classic “He Doesn’t Want to Pay His Taxes.” On this one they could be a CHUMBAWAMBA or MEKONS for today. Welcome back chaps.