You have to chuckle – Associated Minds are hilarious. They're just edging into the scene, loudly mind you, bringing Welsh Hip Hop to the ears of the still London-centric UK Hip Hop listeners. It's just pure comedy value, given that the Hip Hop plus Wales thing that most people think of is Goldie Lookin' Chain's idiotic banter, that their releases are all so RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME!
Mudmowth's latest offering, a shexy white vinyl with dopey-dope-dope artwork, is just so hardcore it's mental. Mudmowth is a tremendous MC who mixes clarity with humour, seriousness and sickness in perfect measures.
Essentially, this release is a 5 track EP featuring labelmate guests Willo Wispa and Ralph Rip Sh** and production by P.L.O., Devize (from Australia) and Sam Rockwell. The overall feeling is of hard, dark but outright bouncy and jouyously heavy Rap music. Next time I get a chance to see Mud perform live, I know my trainers will get stepped upon, one part of my will be body bleeding and there will be a HUGE grin on my face; this is mosh pit inducing stuff.
'Skullcrackology', produced by P.L.O., opens up proceedings and is orientated around live rock drumming, synthy, filthy bass lines and screaming guitars. Mudmowth comes across most vehemently with millions of quotables e.g. 'The only police record you've got is 'Every Breath I Take''. It's great to hear such a brilliant Rock infused track that suits the MC'ing down to a T.
'Return of the Cavemen' is fresh, Devize offers a jaunty beat that somehow has an Australian sound to it – there's something about it that sets it's sound apart from the UK or the US. Willo brings a more chilled out contribution, his style is so lazy and laid back compared to Mudmowth's – it's great to hear MC's who sound different – usually you can't tell when one has stopped and the next has started! ('Shouts to Steve Irwin, Down Under – Literally'!!!)
The intro to 'Circus in the Cemetery' must have been robbed from some bad 80's horror movie and it heralds perfectly what's to come. The title track is menacing both in lyrical content and delivery and the two MC's have come up with a nice concept with plenty of scope for more classic lines. Not my favourite track on here but nonetheless a banger.
'Knuckle Down' is another Devize jobby and the beat is on the lighter side of things whereas the verbals are still gnarly. I like the fact that even though the lyrics are classic battle material the beat is not a doom-and-gloom, dreary sounding backdrop. This track really showcases Mud's overactive mind; I don't know how he thinks up this stuff!
'The Broken Home of Mr. Jones' is a lovely but sad track and the title says it all. Mudmowth takes on the persona of an alcoholic man whose life is in tatters and he paints the picture real well. As Mudmowth says himself: 'The sad thing I know is that half of Britain understands me'. This is an insightful examination of the state of many people in our country.
I can't really say anything I didn't already say in the intro to this review. This is simply brilliant Hip Hop that reveals new treasures on each listen. For the price of a couple of beers this could be yours and if you buy it right off Associated Minds they'll no doubt throw in a load of free stuff; don't be a Mr. Jones – buy this EP!