Spit Syndicate – ‘Sunday Gentlemen’ Album Review
The perilous Australian hip-hop industry is a major inspiration behind Spit Syndicate’s third album Sunday Gentlemen. The Sydney-based duo have done quite well in comparison to others in their embattled field, receiving frequent airplay on Triple J and boasting an army of loyal fans. Nevertheless, their music will still not cover their rent. In the album’s lively opener ‘Amazing’, Nick Lupi and Jimmy Nice recount in honest detail how they have struggled to keep their band afloat whilst juggling knockbacks, bank loans, study, multiple jobs, and “pussy” (our inner feminist is not happy with the last one).
But as the message inside April77 Creative’s retina-friendly pop art cover relays, Sunday Gentlemen is dedicated to devoting time for the things you love. Spit Syndicate tout carpe diem throughout the LP, blaring the motto most clearly in the first singles ‘Beauty In The Bricks’ and ‘Folly’. The party pumping summer anthems remind us to never settle for quotidian monotony and always appreciate the now.
Towards the middle, the album adopts a more political stance. In his incredibly catchy ‘Kill That Noise’, Lupi tries to shake Australians from their disengaged stupor. He also makes amends to our still seething feminism with a rant about double standards and doing away with the word ‘slut’. This “I love women” spiel is quite refreshing inside a genre that is infamous for flagrantly brandishing ‘whore’, ‘bitch’, ‘hoe’ and general misogyny. On that note, special props go to guest rapper Drapht for making rapping history in ‘Same Storey’ with his line: “my mum is a wondrous woman”. Their respect does not extend to Australia’s politicians, however, and the boys do not hold back on adjectives to describe our leaders and the way they treat immigrants.
As the album progresses, so too does the rappers’ openness with their listeners. ‘Same Storey’ is particularly personal with Lupi, Nice and invitee Drapht giving intense accounts of absent fathers and difficult childhoods. Similarly in the closing track ‘Coffee-Shop’, the boys expose their vulnerability in struggling to accept a break up.
Headed once again by Spit Syndicate’s old friend Adit, the stellar line-up of producers generate plenty of funky beats and cuts to start dance floors, even if only rousing a Marcia Brady thumb-and-sidestep at times. The inclusion of Aussie hip-hop peers Solo, Illy and Kai also adds some extra tasty flavour. By and large, the boys are true to their Australian accents, only falling into the tempting American twang occasionally in ‘Along the Way’. Their rhymes are both inventive and smooth with little gratuitous usage of ‘ah’s and ‘ah-ha-ha’s that can easily contaminate rapping yarns. We particularly enjoyed a seamless pairing of “jandals” with “vandals” in ‘Same Storey’.
For fans of Aussie hip-hop and perhaps others as well, Sunday Gentlemen will likely receive rotation from Monday to Saturday too.
Spit Syndicate will tour Sunday Gentlemen from late March. Check their website for details
Tagged Adit, Amazing, April77 Creative, Aussie hip-hop, Beauty in the Bricks, Coffee-Shop, Drapht, Folly, Illy, Jimmy Nice, Kai, Kill That Noise, Nick Lupi, Same Storey, Solo, Spit Syndicate, Sunday Gentlemen