Clay is the first release from Newcastle's HUG in 18 years and features three brand new studio recordings alongside five live tracks recorded at the Star and Shadow on Sat Oct 8th 2011. After releasing 3 e.p.'s and album and enjoying a modicum of critical acclaim in the early nineties, HUG split in 1994. In 2011 they made a decision to play together once more. Here's the story in the band's own words...
"We unearthed some old demos made just before we split up in 1994. The demos were low quality and tinny but we all agreed that two songs they contained, Clay and This Dark Eden may have been among our best. We hatched a plan to return to the studio and record them properly with our drummer, Dave at the helm. Dave is now a sound engineer / producer at First Avenue studios with the likes of The Futureheads, Maximo Park and Lauren Laverne among his clients.
In March and June this year, we returned to the studio and put the plan into practice. We also reworked Kingdom Come, which was a B-side on our 1994 Firebrands e.p., but we were never happy with that version. The sessions were a real joy. We all did what Dave told us and we are very pleased with the results. We feel we've finally captured all three as they're supposed to sound. We hope you agree we've done them justice this time around!"
"Gemma Wilson unfurls a tremendous voice that almost spits parts of the vitriol at you – and the ‘la la la la‘ she launches herself into after delivering the line ‘I’ve given up missing sex‘ is sheer poetic majesty."
Alan Ballie - Subba-Cultcha - Jan 29th 2013
"It’s great! Old school indie, the kind of which you could have heard at The Riverside back in its glory days with plenty of C86-stylings, now with added rocket boosters. Hug it close."
DP - The Crack - January 2013
"Clay is classic indie-rock...This fleeting reminder has ensured, to the indie world at least, that they might be gone but they're not forgotten."
Kev W - SoundsXP - Feb 7th, 2013
"The squalling guitars and muscular bass on 'Kingdom Come' and 'Kaleid' will be familiar to followers of early 1990's bands such as New FADs or Adorable, whilst 'Dark Eden' is the best showcase for Wilson Pitt’s controlled wailing...like a lower league football team, they deserve their moment in the sun for a spirited and passionate performance."
Leonard's Lair - March 25th, 2013
"First up is Clay, a really energetic song with lots of soul. Pleasingly crunchy guitars gnash away and the drums pound away passionately, while Gemma's powerful lyrics speak of a broken relationship and the desire to retain self-respect. The thematic elements gel nicely with the composition and from this track alone it becomes clear how HUG could have been so hotly-tipped back in the day. "
Emerging Indie Bands - August 19th, 2013
"Fans old and new will be grateful that the band have released this album full of energy and verve."
Daniel Orr - The Westmorland Gazette - January 10th 2013
"I bury my hatchet
I never could stand the sight of blood
And mutter 'my god what were we thinking of?'
Don't give me that attitude
You never get out of it intact
I wonder what happened to our self respect
We build our chicken wire
Mould the clay around
An object of desire
Just a puppet clown
I've given up cigarettes
I've given up missing sex
I'm not your clay" - Clay