A wild mash of sonic and lyrical styles
When Young Fathers first appeared in 2008, they were a very pop, synchronised-dancing hip-hop trio from Edinburgh, and it was hard to imagine they’d become so menacing. EPs released in 2011 and 2013 were grimy and aggressive, and their debut album is simply called ‘Dead’. There’s Scottish, Liberian and Nigerian heritage in the group, and that’s key to getting a grasp on their wild mash of sonic and lyrical styles. ‘Get Up’ and ‘No Way’ echo the artful experimentation of South African producer/rapper Spoek Mathambo, and there’s something of the demonic righteousness of Shabazz Palaces about ‘Hangman’ and ‘Mmmh Mmmh’. Yet somehow they’ve retained their pop nous, making for an album that’s unique, but maddeningly all over the place.