Bob Vylan

Bob VylanBob Vylan

Bob Vylan Presents The Price Of Life

Ghost Theatre

Vinyl | CD | DL available at Sister Ray

9/10

The long awaited follow up to the acclaimed We Live Here finally arrives on the streets. You want some slick angry cuts and a bit of loud as fuck hip hop punk grime? Well listen up says Wayne AF Carey…

When Bob Vylan hit the ears of Louder Than War back in 2020 our own Nathan Brown premiered the news that had gone viral around the punk community and the buzz was on. A big fuck you to racists and a powerful hard hitter which caused a ruckus that year. If you think they’ve mellowed out think again…

From the historic intro sample of Walter Speaks to the straight up techno jungle of Wicked & Bad with the lines “Rent on the rise you can’t afford it, baby needs new clothes, tell your lady that you’ll sort it” with some nice fuzz guitar that makes it sound menacing even when Spongebob gets a quote! A riotous start that suggests exhuming Maggies grave to ask her where the milk went.

Big Man has a distorted off kilter Peter Gunn riff flying in with loads of drug references and a scorching hardcore speed punk outro which gives nods to the excellent Bodycount. One of the highlights is Take That which lifts a sample from 808 State’s classic Cubik and goes all rave on you, has a twist on Chuck D’s slant on Elvis being racist and the classic “None of my heros appeared on any stamps” line, plus a genius line “Give Churchill’s statue the rope and see if it floats” The beats and breaks throughout are fuckin’ excellent.

Health Is Wealth has a dig at the fast food industry – “Selling two pound chicken and chips to the kids” and a pure chilled out hip hop break filled with bright horns yet the chilling lyrics hark back to the days of KRS One and his preachings about eating healthy food and the shitty cheap takeaway that fucks you up. Thought provoking…

He Sold Guns is the closest you’ll get to Bob singing backed with a top riff and stark lyrics dealing with gun toting druggies that don’t give a fuck, rob, cheat and maim. Must Be More just flows with pure grime and cutting rhymes that are up there with the best of the rest. Chilling and magnetic, short and sweet. Pretty Songs goes into Crass territory with an abrasive riff and killer lyrics – “I’m no pacifist, I’m smashing fists at every single racist prick I meet” and “I’m not having it, there’s no kumbayah to be found round here, no liberal lefty c**ts are gonna telling me punching Nazis is not the way.” Incendiary stuff…

Continuing with a nice bit of freestyle on the Censored (Interlude) probably aimed at the BBC they smash straight into Turn Off The Radio, a hardcore hip hop stab at the mainstream and a large two fingers to bland playlists that packs a punch with a big nod to Public Enemy in the mix. GDP is just pure Bob Vylan brilliance, clever lyrics and stop start breakbeats with a dirty riff kicking in at the right moments. The best hardcore hip hop this year and claiming back the right wing dress code if you know what I mean…

Bait The Bear blasts in with a slow distorted riff and angry lyrics: “It’s a who? Caribbean, but I’m no fucking pirate, killing every Union Jack Sparrow I find on the island” A call to arms. Another nod to Bodycount here and an angry shout to “Raise war against the state” Phone Tap goes hardcore punk yet again with a distorted yet clear rap about gang culture and the 24hr surveillance state. “Alexa take me to prison”…

Drug War is a fucking mental kick of hardcore that blasts the eardrums and has Bob sounding his angriest best. An addictive heavy riff that kicks you in the face. Closing track Whatchugonnado doesn’t let down and it batters your brains with the message about our crooked police state and the crimes that were committed around our beloved rave culture in the Nineties, the dodgy death of Diana and our corrupt government. A crunching end to a startling album that some might say is too short, yet if you link into the lyrics there’s enough in there to keep you waiting for the next angry installment, from the duo that deliver just what you need to hear at this moment in our corrupt times. You won’t be hearing any of these tracks on the radio any time now. Do they care? Call me a twat but this is Louder Than War…

Words by Wayne Carey, Reviews Editor for Louder Than War. His author profile is here

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I'm a music nut from North Manchester residing in Northwich. If it's good I'm on it. Most genres covered but mainly alternative post punk indie with a love for all things psych. A big supporter of the grass roots scene and tiny venues.

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