Generally lacking any semblance of swing or groove
[a]Spank Rock[/a]’s 2006 debut ‘[b]YoYoYoYoYo[/b]’ was a frisky little number, crackling with whip-smart booty bass beats, gurning Game Boy riffs and dumb but dextrous rhymes about partying and pussy. It even managed to put a smile on the face of renowned rock grump [a]Thom Yorke[/a], who named it his album of the year alongside [a]Liars[/a]’ ‘[b]Drum’s Not Dead[/b]’. But potty-mouthed hipster rappers have a notoriously short shelf life, as Princess Superstar or Fannypack will tell you next time they’re stamping your Starbucks card. Perhaps wary of this, Spank – known to his moms as Naeem Juwan – has agonised over the follow-up to ‘[b]YoYoYoYoYo[/b]’ for five years, finally releasing it on his own label and lumbering it with a title that would make even [a]Panic! At The Disco[/a] flinch.
Yes, [a]Spank Rock[/a] has gone all serious on us. “[i]A man is not a man if he don’t shoot for the stars[/i]”, he hectors us tediously on the non-event of an opening track ‘[b]Ta Da[/b]’, before later urging us to, “[i]Fight for something/Stand for something[/i]” on confused anti-corporate rant ‘[b]Turn It Off[/b]’. Yet he hasn’t had the confidence to ditch his old smut completely, with the result that neither his come-ons nor his calls to arms sound very convincing. In this post-[a]Death Grips[/a] world, chanting “[i]All you white girls shake it ’til my dick turn racist[/i]” just isn’t going to cut it in the shock stakes. Additionally, it’s hard to tell whether the off-key [a]Black Eyed Peas[/a] chorus of ‘[b]#1 Hit[/b]’ is ironic or not. Either way, it’s awful.
It doesn’t help that Juwan has ditched his old producer [b]XXXChange[/b] and replaced him with German electro lummox [a]Boys Noize[/a], whose beats generally lack any semblance of swing or groove. The pair of them belatedly get it together for ‘[b]Cool S#@![/b]’ and the brilliant Can-sampling ‘[b]Energy[/b]’, tracks which are unburdened by Spank’s previous hang-ups. But by then it’s too late. Spark is right about one thing at least: this album is boring, and everyone who says otherwise is a fucking liar.
Director: Boys Noize
Record label: Bad Blood
Release date: 27 Sep, 2011