Carbs – Joyous Material Failure (4 stars)

Carbs: Joyous Material Failure

Scottish rap with wit from Jonnie Common and MC Almond Milk

If you’re looking for an act that can stop people laughing at the phrase ‘Scottish rap’, then you’ve come to the wrong place. Never mind, because Jonnie and James – better known as their respective superhero DJ personas Jonnie Common and MC Almond Milk – are one hell of a duo. Take the inter-species bromance of Han and Chewie, mix it with the gumption of Gibson and Glover and the balls-out stage presence of Jay-Z and Kanye and you might have something like Joyous Material Failure.

Gauzy, deep-fried electronica provides a brightly flashing backdrop upon which odes to transfats and beyond-bedtime television viewing are daubed in precise strokes. This is hip-hop for people who spend too much time on Wikipedia, catatonic, eccentric pop music that satisfies like a guilty midnight snack. Opener and lead single ‘Stick A Flake In Me (I’m Done)’ is an absurdist triumph while ‘Pizza Time O’Clock’ is a strangely heartfelt medley about shared carbohydrates, by way of almost-there rhymes and drunken synths.

Rapping about Margaret Thatcher and Mr Whippy in the same breath should be a recipe for disaster, but the combination works somehow – much in the same way that those ersatz deathtraps on Scrapheap Challenge always came together in the end without maiming anyone.

Carbs play Potterow in support of Young Fathers in September, and on the back of this heady record, it could go completely tits-up or it could be amazing. At the risk of testing the reader’s tolerance for fast-food similes, I’d liken the experience of listening to Joyous Material Failure to the way that your chest starts to beat at an unnatural pace after scoffing a deep-fried double cheeseburger, except that unlike the latter delicacy, I want to try this one again and again and again.

Out Fri 11 Sep, via Save As Collective


Aka Jonnie Common and Jamie Scott's (Conquering Animal Sound) off kilter pop / rap outfit