AOTW Review :: Horrorshow – ‘King Amongst Many’
August 1st 2013
Sydney duo Horrorshow encapsulate a culture with one of the most provocative records in Australian hip hop; King Amongst Many.
Across the seas, hip hop tycoons continue to rant about their hard pasts and new found glory, while the world subscribes loyally.
Meanwhile in Australia, the hard-hitting gangsta rap that menaced our parents has transformed into something to call our own with creatives like Horrorshow proving hip hop doesn’t need to consist entirely of navel-gazing, one-ups and beat downs. With challenging high concepts, coherent vocals and intimate productions, Horrorshow’s long-awaited third album, King Amongst Many, says more than many novels can manage.
Horrorshow matches the philosophical yet undeniably Aussie lyrics of Solo with the subtle, intimate productions of Adit to make some of the most provative hip hop in Australia. The signature Horrorshow beats maximise the emotional response to the lyrics supported by the likes of Joyride, Jimblah, Urthboy, Muph, Grieves and Suffa.
With calm, plodding lyrics and sensual beats, King Amongst Many chips away at your notion of everything from history to hipsters until you crumble into agreement.
‘Own Backyard’ is probably the most compelling song ever written in Australian hip hop. Some 48 restless bars of straight verse manage to summarise Australia’s dark past with an accuracy and eloquence that necessitates a spine tingle and a shake of the head. I want to repeat all the lyrics here, but instead I’ll summarise…
Solo rapidly brings “genocide,” “rape” and “massacre,” of Australia’s “dark past” into the modern day when “the flag ought to fly at half past.”Among many other notions, the “crock of shit” that Redfern is risky is deservedly destroyed. Providing a soulful backdrop of vocals and his own confirmative verses, rising indigenous MC, Jimblah steps in: “they tried to wipe us off the face of the earth… Need proof? Look Around.”
Adit captures you with a pretty beat, while Solo stings you with edgy lyrics in Horrorshow’s lead up single, ‘Unfair Lottery’.
Australia’s overlooked history and white privilege are recurring themes, but it’s not all serious. The hilarious ‘Nice Guys Finish Last’ takes us on a night out in Sydney with “hipsters” and “casanovas” to recognisable locations like “Oxford Arts” and “Parramatta Road.”
Horrorshow’s King Amongst Many is fifteen arduously thought-out tracks, that are invaluable to any fan of Australian music. Never has an album captured all the intricacies of Sydney’s culture in such an enjoyable experience.
King Amongst Many is out August 2 on Elefant Traks – FBi’s album of the week (shared with Hobo Rocket by Pond): 26.07.13 – 2.8.13
What :: King Amongst Many Tour
Who :: Horrorshow, Home Brew & Jimblah
When :: Friday 20 September, 8pm
Where :: Metro Theatre
How Much :: $29.20 here