No Guts EP – Kings of the City
Review by Suave Debonair
From the off set, Kings of the City don’t sound anything like your regular UK hip hop outfit, which is undoubtedly a good thing. I think blending genres of music can be a risky business but I’m happy to say that KOTC have completed a solid piece of work on the ‘No Guts’ EP. Lead singer/rapper Danny Wilder has a soulful English tone reminiscent of the artists that launched the Brit Pop sound that ruled the airwaves of the 1990’s and early millennium. Team that up with the musical talents of Ali Bla Bla (rapper / producer), KoKen (rapper), Rich Pun (guitars), Memari Man (bass), 8 Bit (synths / co-producer) and Royal (drums) and what you get is something with more substance than 90% of the drivel you’ll hear on the radio.
Lead single off the EP entitled 'Mad Men'
The trouble with mixing it up musically within a project is balance and thanks to the production on this EP that balance is pretty much spot on. It reminded me at times of Everlasts’ ‘Whitey Ford Sings the Blues’ with bits of Saul Williams and DJ Shadow and those aren't bad people to be compared to, or inspired by! First track ‘The Devil’ mixes grinding guitars with a Marlboro Red blues chorus, telling a story of substance abuse and its effects on the user - not the most original of concepts but its execution breathes life into that 'same old same old' and rises it above other examples. Lead single off the EP ‘Mad Men’ for me is a highlight, putting across the bands views on last summer's riots of their home town. This is done with more intelligence than most of the televised political debates that followed the riots themselves, and seeks to find answers where others just deemed it ‘mindless’.
All in all Kings of the City come across like a group that aren’t trying to jump on any band wagon or change to accommodate the interest of a major label, and I for one hope they continue that way. This music scene is crying out for people to take notice of issues in politics at a time when kids are spoon fed mediocrity and told to “Keep Calm and Carry On”. Their EP is out now and I would highly recommend you to go have a listen.
Here's an interview I carried out with the band a little while back