Defenders Of Style – ‘The Death Of Meaning’ CD [Self Release]

Now that votes are in for Dead Albatross 2015, I don’t mind saying that Defenders Of Style were very near the top of my ballot. Their release The Death Of Meaning would’ve in fact topped it if it was just based on new musical discoveries from the voting process, as this was the best new discovery to come out of Dead Albatross for me.

Having shifted boxes in a distributor’s warehouse for a few years, maybe we’ve finally been away from UK hip-hop long enough to properly appreciate it again. But more likely it just seems like there’s a second golden-age coming around.

Either way , Defenders Of Style are fucking dope. Proper dense rhymes packed with one-liners and the best flow we’ve heard in time. And it holds up across the entire album, which is saying something, as there’s twelve full tracks and not a wasted bar on there.

Although new to my ears, a quick bandcamp page scan shows that their first full-length was back in 2009 (though their bio states ten years deep) and since then I count around six or seven albums or EPs from the Leeds collective, all of which I plan to dig through in the coming weeks and months.

Consisting of three MCs – Jack Danz, Joe Snow and Prys – and DJ Sirplus, the end sound is much more than the sum, as distinctive as it is ball-grabbingly good.  The pace and wit of the lines and how well the vocalists work together without spinning bullshit or repeating themselves is something that takes a while to fully sink in and appreciate.And that’s the next bonus on this album, on second or third listen you start properly clocking the lyrics and realise that they’ve actually got some proper shit to say. The way they can marry this intellect with such great head-nod vibes is crazy good to listen to.

The beats are raw and banging, perfectly sparse in areas and layered and choppy in others, but always complimenting the mic work. Hip-hop really doesn’t come much better than this, get on it at their bandcamp over yonder: 

Read into this what you will, take from it what you want, share it to who you will and play it over and over again. With a whole new flex “The Death of Meaning” is the new album for 2015 from the 419 clique. If you know about DS fam then you will know about how the style has developed since the first release in 2009 to the more recent such as “Dirty Sterling”, but this is something else. With production from the board-master Jack Danz, and completely different styles from all… whatever you are expecting… forget it. Just sit back, get the JCB to put the bud in your spliff because this aint garage mate, it aint techno… its some charlie sheen shit that shoots you in the jugular and fucks you up from the inside out until your brain starts sweating.