Boomkat Product Review:
Having left a slew of broken-hipped backpack boys in their wake, Baltimore's Spank Rock have now turned their sights on full-fat LP's following their successful jaunt into both 12's and mixtapes. With an appellation that sounds like the kind of genre NME invent when there's a fallow year on the indie pastures, Spank Rock seem intent on dismantling the leftfield hip-hop scene from within; their stated aim to make records which are challenging and eclectic, yet fun to listen to. Whilst such edicts are easily spouted, there's a significantly smaller proportion of artists who can back up their gobshite-claims with records that straddle the aural-line between innovation and enjoyment without coming out the other end looking a proper twat. Barring their name, Spank Rock might just have pulled it off... Opening with 'Backyard Betty', Spank Rock MC Naeem Hank (a cross between Flava Flav and Moira Stewart) spits his sexual-polemic ("lets get into some real bad things, banging till the bell stops ringing") atop the kind of drafty ratchetronica that is equal parts DJ Godfather, Roll Deep and Autechre. Sounding not unlike Pharell's Grime obsessed younger brother, Hank has a tendency to belie his Dizzee Rascal-infatuation through an Estuary English twang; a vocal tick that adds a pleasing depth to his borderline helium discourse. Elsewhere, 'What It Looks Like' takes a leaf out of old school hip-hop for an oddly malignant 4 minutes, 'Bump' goes scrumping in Arthur Baker's 1980 orchard, whilst 'Far Left' is the sound of carbonated circuit boards burning out a larynx. Excusing the dreaded Fat Boy Slim reference on 'Rick Rubin', 'Yoyoyoyoyo' is a refreshing blast of avant-hop that ditches the more austere excesses of the genre in favour of Miami-bass etched sermons with which to shake yon booty. Rock and Roll!