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THE SCRIBES: A Story All About How (2015)

A Story All About How The ScribesGiven that it’s been a couple of years in the making, I’m sure that UK hip-hop outfit The Scribes won’t mind the fact that this has been a couple of months in the writing. Well I say a ‘couple of months in the writing’ – ‘a couple of months overlooked in the inbox’ is nearer the mark, which is a shame since their second LP A Story All About How is a sixteen track opus of eminently listenable original hip-hop that falls into neither the retro pigeonhole nor the godawful sinkhole that contains binloads of contemporary hip-hop.

That’s not to say there isn’t a retro element to the music here but it’s not where you’d might expect. It’s not vintage samples and beats we’re talking about in other words but a heavy use of synths and guitar. The former of these can sound at times somewhat New Order-ish (see Crowd Of Thorns) while the latter frequently has the rough-as-arseholes, thrashed-out-on-trashed-amps sound favoured by late 80s underground rock bands as you will hear on That Sound and Action-Packed. All of which talk might lead you to believe you’ll be hearing something sonically akin to either of Faith No More’s two pre-Mike Patton late 80s LPs but with hip-hop beats, bass and the rhymes. And there is an element of truth in the comparison – aided and abetted by the fact that many tracks contain sung (as opposed to rapped) hooks along with surprisingly pop sensibilities at work underneath it all. Lyrically – topics range from calls to arms to anthems of individuality but it never comes together better than on earworm single Blood In Your Eyes though A Wake runs it close.
(Out now HERE)

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