This is apparently a download only CD which is available from www.shortyonline.co.uk for the month of April and available for purchase thereafter. Shorty are also known as the Seven Head Army and are a seven piece Hip Hop band. They are able to mix styles from Funk to Rock and have a bit of a following as a live phenomenon.
Recently they have won the Diesel U-Music award in the Hip Hop category and on the back of this have stepped into the commercial arena in a big way having appeared on all the major TV channels and even doing an advertising campaign with Pepsi. Continuing on to spearhead this promotional push, they have enlisted super producer Baby J to put together this offering.
01. Case Of The Dead MC
02. Polar Bears
03. That’s Why
05. What Would You Do?
06. Gold Digger
Although this is called a mixtape and I suppose it is, it weighs in at only 6 tracks and therefore seems a touch on the short side. The CD opens with a record crackle and some soulful chords before the guitar, singers, bass and DJ get busy heating up the track for a funky vibe. I can imagine that Case Of The Dead MC is a rousing crowd pleaser. Polar Bears follows quick, which definitely has the feel of a Kanye Track.
In fact, as the tracks are mixed short you don’t get enough time to get into the tracks properly. The band seem to have silky skills and That’s Why brings the live vibe to the forefront. The MC has ability, but is basic, but at the same time does fit in with the musical style. A darker slice of funk is offered up with Weirdo which sparks off with some terminator scratches followed by a much more rock oriented backing track.
The penultimate track What Would You Do? is more of a gentle offering, although the drummer does whack the snare pretty hard. The track has two sides as it gets much more raucous for the chorus. To round off the CD, Shorty take on the Kanye West smash Gold Digger and reproduce it in their own inimitable style with loads of frenetic energy for their most hyper track on the CD.
Generally I don’t feel that Baby J has had much of an input into this except for little bits between the tracks, but regardless, this is a nice introduction to a band I had never heard of before.
It has been said that Shorty with throw your record collection and preconceptions into a blender and take you on a journey through East coast Hip Hop, Philly soul, New York jazz and West coast funk, ending up with an intrinsically UK funk-rock sound; open minded and experimental, fearless and feel good. Obviously this is press puff, but on this outing some of the fantasmagorical marketing is true.