Mac Miller, Clement Marfo, Band of Skulls
[i]NME’s Emily Mackay fills us in on all the latest single releases[/i]
Mac Miller – ‘Party On 5th Avenue’
I don’t feel so bad about being late to the Mac Miller party when his party outfit consists of the usual old-school frat-rap crap about weed, booze, homies and ladies trying to dress itself up respectably in the same sample of Marva Whitney-by-way-of-The-45-King used in DJ Kool’s ‘Let Me Clear My Throat’. Sorry pal, there’s a dress code. Not tonight.
Major Lazer feat Amber Coffman – ‘Get Free’
This has turned out to be an unexpected song of whatever sort of summer this is. Its melancholy, space-spiritual reggae lilt is animated by Coffman’s desperate animal yowl, giving voice to those dispossessed by natural disaster, so it also serves the sobering purpose of putting a bit of rain in perspective.
Linkin Park – ‘Lost In The Echo’
Theoretically, with brostep and aggressive US stadium dance tracing a line of descent back to the dark days of new metal, this should be a prime moment for Linkin Park to seize their respect-dues. Theory, though, runs in horror from this radio-friendly videogame metal, dragged down by the horrifically overwrought vocals and clunky raps. “[i]Check the rep, yeah, you know mine well[/i]”. Indeed.
Clement Marfo & The Frontline feat Ghetts – ‘Champion’
That said, Clement Marfo formed his cross-genre Frontline partly inspired by Linkin Park and Jay-Z’s Collision Course project. Bands that adopt the explicit aim of straddling a range of sounds rather than just doing it without thinking run the risk of sounding forced (see: Mongrel). ‘Champion’, though, has smooth seams, a feisty, brass-lit attack and an air-punchy chorus that’s anything but worthy.
Elro – ‘Real World’
You should have no problem with this Streets-associated Welsh MC rapper because he’s white, because he’s a former stand-up comedian or because he’s inauthentic. No, the only reason to hate this is its extreme lameness. Listening to this man trying to flow is like watching a cow trying to master an iPad wearing boxing gloves.
Band Of Skulls – ‘The Devil Takes Care of His Own’
The devil must – it’s the only reason I can fathom for the continued existence of Southampton’s most excruciating Jack White fanclub. There’s a sort of chunky swagger to this, like a displeased Tonka truck, and they do appear to have moved on to Dead Weather era now, but come on, we can all do better than this.