REVIEW: Grim Sickers & Cigarettes and Scratchcards - In My Local

Grim Sickers, Cigarettes and Scratchcards and HÖSK combine forces for the latest pub anthem. Joe Valek had an early listen and gave us his thoughts.

Words: Joe Valek, @joevalek

Images: Grim Sickers, @grimsickers

Where better to have my first listen to this track than to be sat in my local pub, waiting for a fry up and pint of watered-down Pepsi. As my eyes dart around the room to see if Grim Sickers has captured the vibe, it becomes clear that it literally couldn’t be better suited.

Grim Sickers

The clean, nostalgic beat produced by Bristol-boy HÖSK wouldn’t sound out of place on an old The Streets record. However, there’s a modern cleanliness to the sound with the BICEP-esque vocal pads and mise en place type mix – everything is perfectly in its place. 

I could be anywhere in the world, but I’m in my local” is a beautiful line that captures the mindset of a lot of the British population: why go anywhere else? It’s a line that will resonate across generations, because there really is no place like home. I think that’s part of the message. Yes, the pub is great, but it’s being around the people you trust, in a place you love that makes it so. Even though you’ve done it thousands of times before and will inevitably end up doing it a thousand times more, they are still always the best nights.

The track also transcends seasons. Grim Sickers is dropping it on July 14th 2023: the height of summer, the height of the festival season. I can hear this being played at many afterparties this summer. This is also the perfect song to close a festival with. When serotonin is at an all time low, this track will remind everyone that hope remains. However, I can also picture this one getting belted out by freshers pre-drinking at their student gaff on a cold December evening before heading to their new local to try their luck getting a snog. Again, it’s a celebration of our culture and it gives hope where failure is probable.

My breakfast has arrived and I decide to listen to the song once more. Everything adds up as I look around the room.

The greasy plate of food before me; the hopeless and eternal spinning of the fruit machine; the weird, sticky carpet; a young couple locked in a battle with their toddler to make the beans go in the mouth, rather than on the floor; an even younger couple recounting their plans for their big day out; the table of old men reliving their glory days over fizzy pints of Stella; two queasy looking lads looking at their own plate of greasy food in a way that says “save me”.

These things were always there, but In My Local reminded me how much I love them.

Grim Sickers & Cigarettes and Scratchcards – In My Local is out today on streaming platforms. Click the link here to listen now – pub settings, good mates and a pint of Best is advised.

Joe Valek is a radio presenter & interviewer, you can subscribe to and follow his more of his on YouTube