Stanley Odd: Reject – album review

Stanley Odd: Reject (Glasswerk)

CD | DL | LP

Due Out: 17 September 2012

Stanley Odd, the Edinburgh based alternative hip-hop band who suffuse live instrumentation with samples and loops have an new album due for release in a fortnight which Joe Whyte’s been listening to. See what he thinks about it below.

Sometimes the most punk rock things you hear aren’t punk rock as we know it. Forget the buzzsaw guitars, the shouty chorus, the same-old-lyrics-about-the-government blah blah blah.

Stanley Odd are an Edinburgh-based hip hop collective who use real instruments to make some of the most original music you’ll hear this year. They loop and sample themselves, live and in the studio, to concoct a stew of seething beats & pulsing swoops of sound and lyrics that mix humour, pathos and searing political comment in colloquialisms that the characters from Trainspotting might recognise.

Album opener This Is Stanley Odd has the dreamy vocals of backing singer Veronica sweetening the lyrics of rapper Davie as he declaims the state of the nation against a musical backdrop that recalls some of Gil Scott-Heron’s punchier moments. There’s a taste of post-millennial angst to the downbeat pulse of Antiheroics. Davie’s rhymes add a certain damaged syncopation to the minimal bleeps and looping bassline. Words that bring home the global meltdown in real terms are suffused with a certain swagger and self-effacing humour that we Scots refer to as gallus.

New single Killergram (see below) takes the gangster rap clichés and rips them a new one. All you posturing wannabe thug-life-lite scenesters better take cover. This one’s about you.

“Modelling a tough rep, probably sleep in bunk beds”, rapid fires Davie. There’s nowhere to hide from a tongue this sharp.

The Counsellor’s Waiting Room sees jazzy guitar, keys and drums mine a Jimmy Smith vibe before leading into Marriage Counselling, a treatise on Scotland’s failed relationship with our Westminster cousins.

I’m pretty sure NWA or Eminem never released anything quite this wordy, clever and downright funny. It’s acute, well-observed and incisive.

I Don’t Believe You is something of a mission statement from Stanley Odd.

They’re the children of 21st Century Caledonia and although they don’t like much about their surroundings, they can find the beauty and humour in the most mundane.

Stanley Odd are that rarest of beasts. Whip smart, dangerous, danceable and good fun too.

Forget the Cockney ones. Join the real Rejects.

~

Stanley Odd’s website is here. They are also on Twitter as @StanleyOdd as well as Facebook & Soundcloud.

All words by Joe Whyte. You can read more from Joe on Louder Than War here.

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