Cleveland proto-punks The Pagans helped spearhead the underground punk movement during the late ’70s before finally calling it quits in 1983. Now, more than 20 years later, vocalist Mike Hudson has revived the band for a new album, Hollywood High, due out on November 4th via Ruin Discos.
According to Hudson, the LP will be his last and final one with The Pagans, saying that between the new music and his memoir, Fame Whore, he “can retire now having done everything I set out to do 37 years ago.”
Our first taste of Hollywood comes courtesy of the title track. Opening with moody and lightly reverberating guitars, it finds Hudson’s distinct voice wobbling and creaking like a latter day Lou Reed. However, it’s not long before his warble morphs into a wicked scream, each shrieked line a powerful admission of regret over losing his lover (identified in a press release as Evita Corby, who appears on the album’s cover and previously graced the back cover of Iggy and the Stooges’ Kill City). Here, Hudson sounds as though he’s been carrying the emotional weight of the world for the last two decades.
Listen in below.