With their debut mixtape, Sad Night Dynamite have carved their own space in the upcoming British musical sphere. Hailing from Glasgow, the duo of Josh Greacen and Archie Blagden grew up together, and continued making music despite their separation when they went to different universities. Thankfully, this long-running chemistry shines through.
The opening track Icy Violence is a promising start to the album, with its chilled synths and reggae-tinged vocals transporting you to environment where discussion of violence seems almost casual. The duo’s clever wordplay is also on full display here, and clever lyrics; such as referring to a “handsome man with ugly features”, are wry and charming. Such interesting wordplay often falls apart in other places. The track Krunk, and its continuous references to a “famous titty”, can grow stale fast. It is truly in their production where the boys shine. Krunk, despite its lyrics uses a compelling distorted vocal sample in its beat which gives the track significantly more drive and personality.
A downside to the album however is the songs, bar Skully, (a depressing homage to the boy’s hometown), don’t tell a coherent story. This is disappointing, as Skully proves the boys have a knack for gritty, gripping storytelling. Additionally, wearing their influences so abundantly on their sleeve gives the project too many clear moments of derision. The most notable of this being the Gorillaz tinged flair of the synths and distorted vocal delivery. It’s a criticism the duo take in stride, in an interview referring to some of their songs as “Gorillaz-y stuff”, however this doesn’t prevent the tracks feeling familiar. Ultimately though, the duo’s often stellar production and vibrant instrumentation mean this is a very promising start for artists with the potential to make waves. They just have to emphasise their own identity first.
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