If you’ve not stumbled across them before, Hector Bizerk is a fiery rap n’ drums duo featuring talented MC Louie and the inimitable Audrey Tait on drums.
This new EP is a curious mix of acoustic and electronic elements, once again expanding their sound from the punky sonic minimalism of their debut.
Audrey’s powerful swing propels Louie’s engaging raps but some of the elements feel a little out of sync here.
As always Louie is a smart chronicler of Scottish life, from the grim to the glorious, but though the music is ambitious, it is sometimes so scattergun as to undermine his fierce flows and as such, The Fish that Never Swam lacks the coherence of their breakout sophomore album Nobody Seen Nothing.
Synth clouds explode and reggae rhythms skitter around Louie’s rapid-fire delivery but their creative expansion runs into as many roadblocks as it steamrollers over.
If this is the sound of Hector Bizerk pushing themselves into new shapes to avoid creative stagnation that is always to be encouraged but by the time of the title track you’re wondering whether some hoops were just not made for the duo to jump through.
That’s not to say TFTNS is a bad EP, Louie and Audrey are genuinely some of the freshest and most exciting talents in Scottish music with lyrics that are short to strike a chord with anyone who has ever strolled Sauchiehall St on a Saturday night, drawing pin-sharp pictures with a keen eye for detail, particularly on the brilliant ‘Little Man Say’, which sketches and then dismantles its protagonist with brutal efficiency.
From supporting Public Enemy to putting on their own club night, Stigma, Hector Bizerk have always blazed a trail for Scottish hip hop and now with added bass and horns they might just be the soundtrack to its Saturday night out.
Words: Max Sefton