9 new tracks from the Herrotics camp for only four quid is always a welcome invitation, but when every track is as distinctive and packed with personality as Prospects Napalm’s are on Playing Polio, it’s flat-out essential. Manchester’s most rugged keep their raw styles upfront from start to finish, but this time the tones they select don’t only take on the unmistakeably British dissonance that runs through much of the UK scene, but also create some radiant arrangements that uplift. CORZ gets straight to the point with it’s dusty kicks and filtered melodies that are bound to magnetize any long-time Hip Hop listener to their speaker, as AGN and Napalm pen solid verses that drip with Manny slang. The cool breeze blowing behind the drums on ERADICATE doesn’t only fill out the track nicely, it also literally makes this old school garage, D&B break a breath of fresh air; and when the beat dips into the golden-era-influenced-bump that Dilla pioneered the track’s a dead cert for several replays. STEDD stays with the mellow melodies and keeps the album moving as Prospect’s words travel a mile a minute on this stand-out track, rhyming in multi-syllabic free-flow of word association that takes some serious listening to catch.
On BONUS STORES the MC spills more tangled syllables, while the production style morphs into a darker, less defined creature, with crisp sounds that only further the disorienting effect the main keyboard line has; as it creeps in with an off-time rhythm, anchored by the simple, clean cymbal work. You don’t hear new production this distinctively offbeat too often. ABBOT provides an upbeat interlude to lead you into the bright piano loops and optimistic vibes on OUT OF REACH. Without a doubt my percy on this cracking LP, the verses are less of an attack and are delivered with a calmer flow that never stays in one place for long, as this talented MC rhymes from all over the rhythm, his patterns emerging everywhere simultaneously like water through cracks in a wall. LTD harks back to the smooth sounds on Herrotic’s last LP, and is another infectiously smooth melody that you won’t be able to play just once. Big Red’s funky beat lifts the tone even higher as the summertime sounds of CARRIERS is enough to make you spark up, slip on some aviators and shirk your responsibilities even if it is eleven in the morning; before START OVER plays the album out on another high. Prospects Napalm doesn’t just craft slick bangers with rough edges, he’s begun making full albums that move as one piece, making the whole listening experience more enjoyable than dipping into individual tracks, and leaving any head that takes the time to check out Playing Polio sure to be repeating the final sample’s words; ‘lets start all over again’.
Grab the album here!