– THE PEACEFUL PROTEST –
I will admit to often throwing up a little in my mouth whenever I hear that an artist has used their home town in the name of their band or album.
Perhaps that’s down to a certain degree of jealousy, coming from a lad who was raised in the quiet, leafy London commuter county of Buckinghamshire.
Somehow, Straight Outta Chesham, for all its structural similarity, simply doesn’t have quite the same cool-factor as it’s Compton counterpart.
And so, when I heard that Kiwi rapper Tom Scott had named not one, but both of those things after his native Avantdale, I was inherently suspicious. Fortunately, he compacted the street-cred by adding the Bowling Club part.
But, in all seriousness, there is – fortunately – an authenticity to Scott’s autobiographical moments that feels less like the bravado inherent in many rapper’s life-stories and more like a call for help.
Lyrics like “In ’92 my drunk dad jumped ship on mum” and “Then ’06 my homie hung in the park where we all hung” in Years Gone By reveal an upbringing of real anger and pain that is only partly obscured by Scott’s fantastic flow, pop culture references and snappy wordplay.
However, the best thing about Avantdale Bowling Club’s album of the same name is the modal jazz-imbued instrumentation. The meandering piano lines, that phat stand-up bass, the Coltrane-esque sax flavours and a drum line that makes no attempt do the fashionable ‘merging hip-hop beats’ thang… it’s just great funk/jazz drumming.
The album Avantdale Bowling Club is out now.
MORE FROM THIS WEEK’S MIX
You can find all of the tracks reviewed above in the 45 Revolutions per Minute playlist below or click to access the 45 RPM Playlist on Spotify itself.
If you like what you hear (or even if you don’t), please engage in dialogue with me @45rpm_Reviews on Twitter. And, if you’d like to receive updates weekly, please subscribe to the email list to get these recommendations sent to your inbox weekly.
– SV –