We’re big fans of genre fusing at HMCMB. Maybe it’s because it’s easy to write about, maybe it’s because we’ve had our share of landfill indie, or maybe it’s just because it sounds great. That’s up for debate, what isn’t, is the promise of Courts. The Essex lads came to our attention via their brilliant session on Mahogany Blog (above). Though having looked through our iTunes, there does seem to be an early recording by them from back in June last year… Odd. Mysteries aside, these guys really know how to get ears pricking.
The Essex lads blend spoken word, blues and rap together in an amalgamation that falls in the overbearing spectrum of indie that they undeniably remain an eccentric part of. Their debut EP ‘No Knowledge No Heart’, available at a price of ‘your choice’ over at their Bandcamp, certainly does its best to show just what these guys are about. ‘Roll For The Sun’ gives an opening glimpse of their vocal machine gun tendencies, whilst the lingering guitar and booming chorus’ do their best to keep the overall direction ambiguous. Things take a more considered, slower hip-hop tone with ‘Madhatter’, thick with funky bass and a curious arrangement that does its best to lay a path for the incredibly versatile flow of vocalist Chris. At this point, sounding very much like the Stereo MC’s Rob Birch.
Overall though, such comparisons don’t hold. What is apparent is that within the confines of Courts’ sound, is actually a wealth of direction, influence and versatility they can work upon. Things still hold the crisp funk edge that seems to keep them on the guitar side of hip-hop, but the scope for diversification and experimenting is incredibly exciting. The strongest track on the EP for us though, the idiosyncratic Long Wait Long List, perhaps shows them at their best. Awkward and jerky, yet incredibly engaging. A testament to their song structure and the proficiency of lead singer Chris Moody’s razor sharp delivery. As the EP ends though, on what seems to be a new British stoner anthem, refreshingly full of British pot slang, they’re also more than capable of stringing a catchy tune together in the ska like realms of the wealth of British musical heritage that preceded them.
The EP is promising, a great listen and a great introduction to a very new, very intriguing act. Check out some of their stuff below, and head over to their Bandcamp if you wanna grab the EP, or their Facebook to find out a little bit more about them.
Courts – Long Wait Long List [right-click to download]
Courts – Roll For The Sun [right-click to download]