Stanley Odd - Reject
Cerebral, socio-political hip hop from the six-strong Scottish ensemble
Edinburgh six-strong hip hop ensemble Stanley Odd are the first to acknowledge that their debut album, Oddio (2010), was not hugely forward-looking in its sound, and it’s this sonic volte-face, teamed with MC Dave ‘Solareye’ Hook’s electrifying socio-political and self-reflective rhymes, that make its follow-up so arresting.
It’s easy to fall for Reject’s melodies, beats, piano sweeps and vivid production (the band chopped and remixed every song, and this hip hop methodology has reinvigorated their sound and narratives): musically, it’s as pop-orientated a rap album as you could hope for, in no small part thanks to vocalist Veronika Electronika’s terrific choruses. But its real sucker-punches come in Solareye’s cerebral diatribes, from (anti)nationalist soap opera(p) ‘Marriage Counselling’ to the spectacular, vote-promoting ‘Antiheroics’.