Young Fathers | Tape One

Anticon (2012)
By RYAN FOLEY  |  December 10, 2012
3.5 3.5 Stars

youngfathers_review

Scotland does boldly inventive/wildly playful indie-pop (and prior to that, post-punk) with such machine-like efficiency that it's been a detriment to the country's other genres. Righting this wrong requires worthy torchbearers; Young Fathers are poised to assume this role for Scottish hip-hop. On debut Tape One, the Afro-Scot trio — comprising a Liberian, a Nigerian, and an Edinburghian — disputes the notion that its country of choice is a rap backwater. Lyrics are joyfully standoffish ("Don't you turn my home against me/Even if my house is empty"), even poetically saucy ("Plant your seed in your maiden's bower" wickedly evokes Robert Burns). Young Fathers are both catchy and alienating. The polyrhythm and chanted vocals from "Sister" evoke Soundway's compilations of '70s Nigerian disco and funk. The beats on "Dar-Eh Da Da Du" sound like hissing steam pipes and oil drums pummeled with rubber mallets. Calculated yet impulsive, Young Fathers prove Scottish hip-hop's viability.
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