Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@cleric20)
“Ooh, goddamn, I drop bombs I was born with the brains and the brawn I am the king and you're just a pawn Who's got the high ground now, Obi-Wan?”
Here is the future – Hip Hop Joey Valence & Brae (JvB) bring their underground sound (which is basically a most excellent Beastie Boys reimagining) and boy is it fun! So it appears that Mike D, Ad-Rock and MCA (RIP) have inspired two swaggering and nerdy spiritual go-getters and far from being talentless cash-in merchants, these guys are great!!
I found JvB because the artist Jimmy Hobbs who I worked with on my comic 'What Waits For Us In The Dark [Matter]' has been doing the single cover artwork for the band!? Then I had the joy of seeing JvB live last month at their – to date – largest headline gig and they brought their ‘A-game’ – appetites were suitably whetted for their debut album.
What Waits comic has exclusive JvB artwork by Jimmy on the back>>>
And here is how PUNK TACTICS plays…
Opening with the title track PUNK TACTICS the stage is set for a rampant good time. Spitting bars with videogame references and some clever wordplay, this is what the world needs right now. Next up is DROP ‘I came, I saw. We came to drop bombs’ a saucy little dance number, followed up DELINQUENT (TEEN TITAN) which is a love letter to comic books ‘…gliding through the city, mask on, Green Goblin. I'm a villain, you a sidekick, Robin’ – it will make your inner nerd grin.
Coming in hot then we have the one-two punch of WATCH YO STEP and STARTAFIGHT which are all frenetic energy, sneaker namechecks and dance beats. STARTAFIGHT’s ‘Yeah, we get delinquent. Run it, run it, run it, run it like a reprint’ really should be on the soundtrack to the next Streetfighter game… Finishing the violent section is the rocking KILL BILL.
The duo slip in an Eminem INTERMISSION and then it’s time for poptastic GUMDROP before the laid-back DANCE NOW which is classy and then the smooth vibes of RN ‘feeling good right now’. Nice. The incredible TANAKA 2 comes next with guest vocals from Logic and this is a stone-cold killer track. ‘Non-Stop, Denzel. Heavyweight, Rocky, barbell. Oh, you slick? I'm John Wick. Rambo how I swing the sticks’…
Personal fav HOOLIGANG kicks the doors in as a follow-up and it’s epic! Man, it was great live too – and has been my ‘drive too fast to’ track since it came out. Before you escape you must also face the beating that will leave you looking like a STREET PIZZA. The fun descriptions of pizza toppings showcase JvB at their most playful.
Finally, the majestically over-the-top CLUB SANDWICH has been likened to No Sleep Till Brooklyn and that’s not an unfair comparison – it finishes off the album in fine style.
Wherever the Joey Valence & Brae story goes next, PUNK TACTICS is a great debut album that lays down a marker for a wickedly talented couple of guys who hopefully will take the world by storm…
Out of a potential 5, you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(5 - NOTHING CAN PREPARE YOU - ALBUM OF THE YEAR!!)
>>> Imagine a world where the earth is becoming hell?
Click below to find out in my dark sci-fi novel...