Reviewing a Hilltop Hoods record either gets you a heap of calls about sucking up or death threats for saying its mediocre, such is their following for better or worse. They have amassed an incredible amount of support across the world for their unusual style of South Australian hip-hop, and its no surprise there are words such as ‘epic’, ‘stunning’ and ‘critically acclaimed’ used liberally when discussing ‘Walking Under Stars’, but for this reviewer; I can’t help feeling something is missing.
About time! This has to be one of the most highly anticipated albums in the world of dance music in the past few years, notwithstanding the abominable Daft Punk fiasco which will no longer be named on this blog. Abandon Ship has been pushed back further and further release date wise and even this particular version (probably the last) was accidentally leaked by iTunes itself during the beginning of November. But does it stand up to the heavy publicity and anticipation it solicits?
It’s the return of the One Dayers riding Mainline til there’s no rides left…or something. Ok ok, I’m not as ‘street’ as I wish I was or I think I sound in my head but I have to say One Day is like a crew from heaven. Made up of Horrorshow, Spit Syndicate, Jackie Onassis and the biggest sweetest singing DJ in Australia, Joyride; One Day is Inner Western’s Sydney’s best up and coming crew. In a move which some could call self-indulgent and others prophetic, they joined forces like one huge Oz hip-hop Voltron and produced their inaugural release ‘Mainline’. Thanks boys, you’ve done us proud again.
I thought I would do an EP round up as there seems to be quite a lot coming out lately and instead of putting them in their own reviews, I would do small ones of each. Here goes!
I’ve been waiting quite a while for this one after the incredibly honest and raw solo release several years ago, which put Joelistics well outside his former group’s shadow. TZU were one of those groups that Australian independent music embraced, even though they were part of the Gudinski juggernaut. I used to put TZU on par with the best stuff coming out of labels such as Elefant Traks and despite being on Liberation, I always felt their home was with ET. So its fitting that after the effective dissolution of TZU, with pairing MCs Pip Norman and Joel Ma going in different directions, Joel would resurface on Elefant Traks. But Voyager was incredible. It had maturity, intelligence, top level production and power to the lyricism which highlighted Joel’s bush poetry slam thought patterns. But what of Blue Volume? Is it more of the same or just a weakening of Joel’s creativity?
Australian hip-hop is more often than not pervaded by themes of parties, backyard BBQs and white middle class themes. Mekong Delta Sunrise, the third album from Elefant Traks’ Astronomy Class, is a huge breathe of fresh air. I was only just recently talking of such high praise for L-Fresh’s debut and even went so far as to compare him to Ozi Batla, and after listening to Mekong Delta Sunrise; I’m convinced they are two of the best MCs in Australian hip-hop. Yeah sure, Ozi Batla’s been one of the longest players in the game of Australian MCs, but he hasn’t lost a single edge against the new up and coming upstarts in the game. Mekong Delta Sunrise is by far their best release yet and it shows that when you carry a strong theme throughout an album, it elevates it to a level no one could ever have imagined.
Any band who describe themselves as “a daggy, spontaneous, ridiculous, over the top, wild, obscure, juvenile, gormless comedy train wreck metal rock band that have been making massive amounts of minus-money in the music industry since 2008” is worthy of our attention surely! Read more…