Fix Up, Look Sharper
The Mitchell Brothers - Harvey Nicks (Feat. Mike Skinner and Sway)
Well, okay, I'll give this unified material thing a go anyway - at a stretch, "Harvey Nicks" is sort of about racial profiling and the invasiveness of security culture. But what it's more about is remembering (in the age of the gangsta monodrawl) how funny rap can be, sometimes in the knowing lousiness of its execution - a phrase turned around in just the right way, an awkwardly stressed syllable, an adopted accent - the attention to detail that a "Grand Don't Come for Free" mostly used instead to portray a kind of wearied exhaustion and mild paranoia. So yeah, Tony and Teddy Mitchell are the first signees to Mike Skinner's label, "The Beats" (the name of which makes this obvious pun fan very happy), and what we've heard from them thus far sounds a lot like... The Streets. At their (his?) noveltiest. I didn't much go for "Routine Check", maybe it's the prickliness of this that gets my attention: trapped-wasp buzz, EVIL SYNTH (my fave) (in fact, look out for a Hectic Special dedicated to the topic sometime in the future) and airy handclaps. But what goes on top of that is what has me rewinding (and re-smiling) again and again: that whole extended overall riff ("Overall, All over, overalls don't work"), Sway (who I didn't think much of at all until this, which turns out to be a really good vehicle for his corniness - "Even when I'm just tryin' it on, they think I'm tryin' it on"), and even Skinner's mini-rant at the end - "I'm all about Selfridges man, Selfridges".