Album Review :: Suburban Dark ‘Second Front’

July 30th 2013


Terrifying the faeces out of somebody wouldn’t normally make a good first impression…

… and yet Suburban Dark’s debut full-length, Second Front, does just that.

Second Front is yet another monumental release from prolific Sydney hip hop label Big Village, and another leap forward for hip hop in Australia.

As far as Oz hip hop goes, the production in these tracks is unprecedented in depth and quality, and it’s supported with solid contributions from a cast of Sydney’s hip hop talent (including, but not limited to, Jeswon, Tuka, Ellesquire, P.Smurf and Rapaport). The 18 dynamic tracks are flavoured with grinding bass, piercing synth and a smorgasbord of lyrical contributions.

As with many recent BV releases, this album is a respite from to the ‘feel good’ summery vibes of Australian hip hop that too often translates into boganhood.

Suburban Dark consists of Chris Irvine and Ryan Wilmott, a productive duo that’s been responsible for a string of hits in recent years, as well as Youtube hip hop show Sketch the Rhyme. Sub Dark’s own lyrics are peppered throughout the record, but they mainly provide the backdrop for Big Village’s ever-growing repertoire of talented MCs. Meanwhile, pulverising instrumental tracks like ‘Pressure Tek’ prove that Suburban Dark are no secondary act.

The overriding darkness of Second Front demands the guest MCs to leave behind their comedy and high concepts to delve into new territory. Jeswon takes on themes out-of-bounds for his role in Thundamentals, Ellesquire is back to his story telling best, P.Smurf (Daily Meds) is harder hitting than ever, and BV boss Rapaport violently confronts his listeners.

Claiming a stake to three of the tracks, Jeswon from Thundamentals has obviously found a productive arrangement. In pill popping single, ‘Skeletonne’, SD sets up a certain banger, over which Jeswon thunders hard with distorted vocals sounding at times thuggish and other times exotic.

In the interrogative ‘What Ya Know About?’, Rapaport confronts his listeners with a foray of questions. Rather than making a statement, he creates one in the listener, challenging their knowledge of everything from “12 bar blues”, “Miles, Hendrix, Marley,” to…

“sex, drugs and on the dole.”

No stone has been left unturned in Second Front, making every deliberated second begging to be played LOUD. There’s something for everyone’s dark side hidden in this record. Just turn the dial up and you’ll find it.

‘Second Front’ is out now on Big Village Records. FBi’s album of the week: 19 -26 July 2013.



What: Second Front Album Launch

Who: Suburban Dark ft. Jeswon, Ellesquire, P.Smurf, Rapaport + more

Where: Civic Underground

When: Saturday 31st August

How Much: $10 from Moshtix


Suburban Dark | AOTW


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