"Whatever You Do, Don't Miss This Album"
From the Record Roundup on Anearful.com
This incendiary album comes on with such elemental force that at first I was repelled. But upon revisiting, I leant into the heat and let it cleanse me. Catharsis. It also helped that as I was trying to grasp what was going on, I made the connection between Roger Bonair Agard's vocal approach and that of the great Linton Kwesi Johnson (whose Bass Culture celebrated its 40th anniversary earlier this year). Both are poets of Caribbean origin who worked in spoken word before combining their talents with music. Agard also has a little of Johnson's quality of rage - restrained, vaguely amused, but ready to explode if just one more ember lands on him. The musical backing is quite different from the roots reggae Johnson employed, however, which also stopped me in my tracks. Centered around Andy Akiho's steel pans and Jeffrey Zeigler's cello, and anchored by Sean Dixon's drums, bass, and electronics, it references reggae and hip hop, but is also angular and post-punk, ending up sounding like nothing else. The subject matter, including songs about Blackness and gentrification, is firmly on the pulse of our moment and served up with the immediacy of a status update yet with the craft only a true poet can deliver. If you're curious about the name they chose for the group, Google "Ariana Miyamoto" - but whatever you do, don't miss this album.
Click here to read on the Anearful blog.