The hip-hop style of the Scribes is now firmly established as an alternative to the predictability of much mainstream output (in hip-hop and beyond) and here they are with their second album ‘A Story All About How’. Their 2012 debut album ‘Ill Literature’ (see reggaemusic.org.uk 22nd October 2012) set the pattern of thoughtful and aware hip-hop offered here. ‘A Story All About How’ is a 16 track album recorded over the last few years in between touring commitments – appearances which have included an impressive and diverse range of acts including GZA from Wu Tang Clan, De La Soul, Macklemore, MF Doom, Example and Coolio, and performances at festivals and venues including Glastonbury, Boomtown Fair and Urban Ibiza.

The new album demonstrates a wide range of influences and features powerful tracks including ‘Crowd of Thorns’, with its rock band styling and strings, and ‘Industrial Growth’, introducing a slower feel with its opening electronic score. ‘CONvictions’ opens with a purely vocal intro, and the album closes strongly with ‘Hazy’, some nice guitar chords taking us into another rap. The pattern is essentially that of ‘live’ instrumentation, a rock band framework for a highly distinctive take on hip-hop. It’s hip-hop for people who never thought they liked hip-hop.

Lead single ‘Blood In Your Eyes’ combines synths, guitar and strings atop rapid beats and a brisk rap style, illustrating the band’s feel for real instrumentation as well as purely vocal exertion. The video here for the single to some extent continues the weird theme of the single ‘Monsters’ from their previous album and manages to display a nice sense of humour within an intriguing take on contemporary UK hip-hop.

The Scribes: ‘A Story All About How’, released 29th January 2015, on CD/digital download.

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