Goldie Lookin Chain, the Welsh rap-pop satirists responsible for such silliness as Your Missus Is A Nutter and Your Mother's Got A Penis are back with a brand new album, Asbo 4 Life. Treading the fine line between funny and intolerable, the Chain are renowned for causing controversy with their releases - let's see if this one's any different.
Opening with the upbeat swagger of Mister Farenheit, the album seems to get off to an alright start with catchy guitar riffs and a chant-along chorus setting the tone. As with every other GLC album to date, it's crystal clear within less than a minute that none of the band's eight-strong line-up are accomplished lyricists, singers or even musicians at all. They can't be.
Imagine it's your aunt and uncle's wedding anniversary and to celebrate they're throwing a shindig complete with inappropriate DJ and stone cold buffet. A few pale ales too many and your dad grabs the mic; he stands rocking, knees slightly bent and arms akimbo, performing his own rap. If that kind of embarrassment wouldn't spoil your fun, you're probably fine to keep listening.
You might think that subjected to such meaningless bilge, anyone would go straight for the eject button - sharply followed by the bin - but somehow the boys do have something of a cult following. Their humourous commentary on today's consumer society and chav culture has actually earnt them a number of high-charting singles.
A difficulty facing this band though is keeping the material fresh and relevant. Musically, the arrangements are such that they wouldn't sound particularly out of place on any hip-hop or garage compilation. Plastered with GLC's daft poetry though, everything suddenly starts feeling a bit botched and deftly approaching an overdue expiry date.
Jokes like these get old quite quickly; that's another challenge the Newport jesters are up against. As if it hadn't been done to death and buried by Bolton comic Peter Kay, Garlic Bread uses the popular oven-baked snack as a metaphor for love. The concept might sound interesting but rest assured that the result is, unsurprisingly, utter hogwash.
Space Police is perhaps the first suggestion of a half-decent song with glimmers of Kasabian, but by the end it still smacks of Geography teachers going 'mental' at a staff party. It's pretty bad.
What's important to remember, however, is that music and humour are difficult to combine and get it right. Goldie Lookin Chain have tried, and been reasonably successful at raising a smile, in the past. This time round they're creating the same unforgettable tunes with smart wit and hilarious jibes throughout.
The music alone is fine and there are definitely a few listenable moments but in all honesty they're quite few and far between. Much better suited to the Comic Relief school of music, Asbo 4 Life is really not worth a penny of anyone's hard earnt spends without a good cause being seen to benefit. They're not making art, they're just having a laugh - whether you will be too is unsure.
Skip To: Space Police
FemaleFirst - Anthony Hill