In a brief period of time The Allergies, Rackabeat and DJ Moneyshot, have put together a very enviable back catalogue. In eight years, they are released five albums and two dozen singles and EPs isn’t to be sniffed it. Especially when you consider how rich they are in catchy melodies, good vibes, and sense of fun that we haven’t seen for a while. On ‘Promised Land’ where the Bristol duo combines everything, they’ve learnt so far and deliver an album that acknowledges hip-hop’s past and hints to the future.
‘Lean on You’ kicks everything off. There is an aerobic guitar riff that underpins everything. Over this terse beat, surging basslines and Dynamite MC’s scattershot vocals are allowed to flow. The lyrical hook is “If you on me. I’ll lean on you, and we’ll be just fine” There is something about Dynamite’s delivery that makes me believe him. And you should. ‘Love Somebody’ slows things down a bit. Classic block party beats are the order the day. “Love is good when you love somebody” feels like it should be a mantra shouted from the rooftops. You can feel the positivity seeping from the speakers. Its irresistible. You can feel your mood already lifting. The weight of the world rises from you shoulders and it gives you a bounce to your step.
The standout track is ‘Utility Man’ featuring Ugly Duckling’s Andy Cooper. This feels apt as the bassline is reminiscent to UG’s bombastic classic banger ‘Eye o’ the Gold Chain,’ but slightly slower and thoughtful. As Cooper delivers career defining lines like “Music is magic, I bask in the rhapsody” and “Old school, modern and futuristic. Philosophical, topical and pugilistic.”
‘The Promised Land’ is a product of its time. Usually when I write, or think about this, the music is slightly claustrophobic and challenging. Artists have been taking the seriousness of the last few years and crafting music that reflects. The Allergies have done the opposite. They’ve seen all the doom and despair and have made an album that is the antidote to this. At its core ‘The Promised Land’ is a joyous reminder to embrace the good things in life and to try and have a goodtime as often as you can. Take ‘Working on Me’ for example. The song is built around a massive beat and bassline combo. Over this gloriously melodious samples are layered to create something that makes you smile. The vocal sample is “I feel it / Working on me.” After listening to ‘The Promised Land’ I can definitely feel something working on me.
Everything you’re looking for, hip-hop wise, is on ‘The Promised Land.’ Whether you are into old skool breaks, trap sensibilities, conscious storytelling, or block party vibes you’ll find. This is a brave album that puts having a goodtime above being edgy or cool. Rackabeat and Moneyshot put their hearts, and records, on their sleeves and it works. This could, scratch that, IS their strongest album to date. If you give it a chance ‘The Promised Land’ will have you smiling from ear to ear - or is that era to era.
Words: Nick Roseblade
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