10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
first instant classic british album of 2012, 26 Mar. 2012
The past year has been quite the ride for South East London post-step princes Breton. Roman Rappak's crew of multimedia street-geeks have gone from squat party scenester faves through blogger's heroes to tours with Tom Vek and Ghostpoet, with a slew of low-key single releases, remixes and a video trail that scattered their breadcrumbs across the net in calculatedly modern style.
But never mind the filmmaking chops and famous friends, what will annoy the naysayers about `Other Peoples' Problems' is that, well, it's just a terrific record. The sound, whether it be the anti-organic jerk-rock of the stunning `Wood And Plastic', an alt tune awash with melody and filmic splendour, or the primitive threat of single `Edward The Confessor', a brutalist gang chant that veritably tears through the speakers, is consistently compelling; the sonic personification of the Kraftwerkian conceit of man melding with machine.
The near-trance of `Governing Correctly' hums and squawks, like most tracks here, making the most of its palette of samples, strings, sequencers and classic rock band instrumentation -- yet at no point tipping over into indulgence or overplay.
There are, of course, plenty of straight-out, beat-drenched should-be hits -- the absolutely enormous `Interference', for instance; a ram-raiding, marauding beast of a tune draped with the vaguely ominous refrain "It's a mechanism you come to rely on / It's a skeleton / It's a skeleton". Meanwhile `Oxides' plays out like a DJ Shadow take on an early Wu Tang track; all dirtbag stoned mumbles and dark, glitchy beats shot through with delicately plucked cinema strings.
Then there's `Jostle', a longtime live fave among the hooded crew that make up the Breton fanbase; a thoroughly forward-looking set of sounds that come together to create something at once acrobatic classically beautiful.
Ultimately, for all the hipster kudos and scene celebration what we end up with in Other People's Problems isn't some little set of bedroom glitchers trying to out-obscure the next guy's samples, but a whipsmart, tuneful band connecting equally with the head and the heart. Can't say fairer than that.