For a duo out to prove they’re not one-hit, beardy-weirdy wonders, these Essex boys don’t start well. With doll versions of themselves peeking out of the artwork of this debut album (part of which was created in the back of le Sac’s car) and a song named after comedy deity Tommy Cooper (‘Tommy C’) it’s all very Goldie Lookin’ Chain. But give ’em a chance, as le Sac and Pip are contenders in the Mike Skinner school of Brit-hop, albeit with more with lyrics about pants, socks and the Periodic table.
‘Tommy C’’s original title was ‘James Blunt Can Fuck Right Off’, and makes the compelling point that real beauty is not ‘You’re Beautiful’ slush but simply Tommy Cooper making us laugh. ‘Fixed’ refers to another UK icon – Dizzee Rascal – using the beat from ‘Fix Up, Look Sharp’ to tackle the state of UK hip-hop. While Scroobius’ angry young man act is powerful on the title track and the Radiohead-sampling, anti-war ‘Letter From God To Man’, he’s not averse to straying into ‘Dry Your Eyes’ territory too: next single ‘Look For The Woman’ is destined to be a similar gouge-your-eyes-out hit. Yet it’s Dan’s inventive production that saves them from imitation – check out the subterranean ‘Magician’s Assistant’, the computer voices on ‘Development’ and those budget keyboards on last year’s hit ‘Thou Shalt Always Kill’. The duo come together best on ‘Back From Hell’, a bouncy UK version of Eminem’s ‘Without Me’. Are the Brit Slim Shadys finally standing – and growing – up? Sort of.