There’s nothing like some good old fashioned home grown rock’n’roll. Hey Mister evokes a mood that anyone who has ever felt paranoid walking down the street has certainly felt.
Wearing the subject loud and proud with the line that lends the song it’s name, “Hey Mister it’s your life or a cigarette”. That sums up the down and dirty track which has it’s mood reflected in the roughhouse guitar work.
The very specific paranoia is relatable in a very modern day problem kind of way. Any smoker will be able to tell you of the countless times they’ve been asked for a light or a spare fag.
Hey Mister explores the idea of that simple exchange going wrong and descending on that downward spiral. The licks on the guitar set the grimy tone of the track with immense attitude, rebounding up and down from high to low in a classy riff. Along with fitting the mood perfectly, the guitar just screams attitude and class.
Couple it with the gruff tones and twanging vocals of Alan Triggs, it fits both characters in the story he’s telling with this song. The nervousness in his tones in the opening and closing segments of the track set up our ‘protagonist’ style voice whilst the almost strained sounding confidence reflects his ‘antagonist’ nicely.
Whilst the centre of the song, namely the chorus, has this great bravado which is reflected by the instruments rising up around him to greet the presence he’s carving.
The lowered tones in the closing seconds enunciating the line “sorry I don’t smoke” is a stroke of genius. It’s the cherry on top of the short and sweet track.