Too Many T's' South City is a feelgood, animated and lyrically slick release (3 stars)

Too Many T's' South City is a feelgood, animated and lyrically slick release

Debut album from the band often labelled 'Britain's answer to the Beastie Boys' is submerged in positive vibes from start to finish

Hip hop as a genre has many strands, ranging from the old school rap of masters like Kool Herc and Afrika Bambaataa to the politically conscious social activism of Public Enemy. Within this wide spectrum, there is a crossover that exists between hip hop and comedy, with the incorporation of humour and parody made popular by acts like the Beastie Boys. Although Too Many T's are often labelled as 'Britain's answer to the Beastie Boys', the south London duo's output can be seen as more of a mix of different styles, from the intelligent and satirical lyricism of Ugly Duckling to the ironic and quirky verses of Eminem and Detroit collective D12.

Their debut album South City may not be serious in its overall message or focus but its intentions are not to be meditative or profound in any real way. Instead, there is an emphasis on its high-energy and tongue-in-cheek make up, as evident on tracks like 'Sixty's Ford' and the funk-infused 'Hang Tight'. There isn't a huge amount of substance here, but there is obvious skill in Leon Rhymes and Standaloft's interplay and rapid-fire bursts of call and response. 'God Save The T's' is an excellent example, with its fast and furious flows adding hints of grime into the mix above more 90s-era instrumentation.

Though submerged in positive vibes from start to finish, 'Patterns' is the one exception on the album, offering a moment of solemnity with its gentle and ambient electronic backing. It's an atypical but welcome addition which adds a sense of variation that the album on the whole could have benefited from.

While South City certainly features the kind of playfulness that is characteristic of the Beastie Boys, there are elements which position Too Many T's' sound and output firmly within the British musical landscape. It may not be groundbreaking, but South City is still a feelgood, animated and lyrically slick release.

Out Fri 15 Sep on South City Records.

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