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.
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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.
This article originally appeared in the July 21st issue of NME