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Savage Sound System

Like Stink On A Monkey (Savage)

By • Mar 22nd, 2011 • Category: Album review

Everything about this release from the Edinburgh collective – in fact, even the word ‘collective’ – screams “Scottish hip hop”. Well, everything, that is, apart from the music.
To be fair, the actual term ‘collective’ isn’t prominent on the CDs sleeve notes, but with words like ‘triphop’, ‘breakbeat’, ‘electronica’, ‘MC’ and ‘samples’ on the credits and blurb, we are surely talking repetitive beats here?
Well, yes and no. Opener ‘These Tears Come Cheap’ sports some beats that batter away at the senses, a flurry of industrial mechanical clanks and clatters that is, let’s say it, pretty far removed from Eminem.
And that sets the stall out for the album. ‘How Much For The Ape’ is a massive production job, all Avalanches-style orchestral sweeps that provide a bed for the soaring and very rock vocals of Sacre Noir. There’s not even a glimmer of rap until fourth track when MC ShilohZen shows up on ‘Longroad’ to add to a sound that is already far from your bog-standard gangsta. There’s even time for some decidedly 80s pop on ‘New Town’ which even if it jars slightly does keep the listener wondering quite what may happen next. (As it happens, it’s the straight-outta-80s-Sheffield dark electro of ‘Grind’.)
The anticipated jazz skiffle doesn’t quite appear, but there’s something different round every corner, as the Savage crew twist and turn their way through a variety of genres that make for a challenging but highly enjoyable listen. There’s even some Scots-accented rap on ‘Keep On Rollin’, and it’s the predictable that somehow takes us by surprise. Highly recommended as there’s something for everyone here.
Like Stink On a Monkey - Savage Sound System

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