The Worst Guys – Not So Bad EP Review

Self Released – 2020

Birmingham hip-hop duo The Worst Guys, Louis Prince and Joe Marsh, arrive with their debut EP Not So Bad. Recorded over the course of lockdown, sending demos and samples back and forth to each other, their debut project sees the duo tackle issues of racism, lockdown and self worth. Following on from two previously released singles in the year, the punchy “Platform” and minimalism infused “No Celebrations”, this EP celebrates the sound that The Worst Guys have developed so far, whilst simultaneously expanding their output into far greater and vibrant soundscapes.

What propels this EP further than the duo have ever gone is the vocal delivery from both Prince and Marsh. Prince’s hard hitting, potent rapped verses seamlessly juxtapose with Marsh’s melodic dreamy chorus lines. This is highlighted on “More Than Meets The Eye” as Prince’s punchy rapped bars are immediately fast flowing, but straight after comes Marsh’s woozy chorus lines of “And if I showed you that there’s more than meets the eye babe, would you try to shoot me down?” to later switch back to Prince’s lyrical flurry as the song descends into a synthesised euphoria of culminating melodies. And lyrically the duo are as assured as ever as they speak on themes of racial injustice on “Bittersweet”, “It’s hard to shake the feeling that some don’t like us here, another day another you makes some blood splatter, but we’ll peacefully protest to you that black lives matter”. Prince balancing the fine line of being politically charged whilst concurrently being earnest and evoking empathy from personal experience.

The Worst Guys got their name from the Childish Gambino song of the same name from 2013’s Because The Internet and their homage to Donald Glover doesn’t just stop with their name. Closer “Never Back Down” features some devastatingly blissful synthesiser melodies gliding over a beat that demands you to strut along to it, reminiscing in the sound that was found all over Glover’s 2013 sophomore album, especially “III. Telegraph Ave. (“Oakland” by Lloyd). However the production doesn’t just pay homage to their influences, it also sparks a new air of confidence in the duo. Experimenting with sinister minimalism on “Why U Mad?” as the disorienting sirens swirl and flash in and out in and out of the soundscape, providing a haunting and eerie platform for Prince’s unrelenting storytelling to go from strength to strength.

It’s not often you find artists that wear their influences on their sleeve, whilst conjunctively offering a sound that feels as vibrant in its ability to convey exactly what that artist is trying to deliver. Continually shifting and challenging what their sound can be, The Worst Guys have landed a debut EP that is unapologetically confident and enticing to listen to. In their interview with us the duo said they are yet to play a live show, however expect big things when the bass line of “Isolation On The Menu” hits the club floor.

Soba announce debut EP ‘And Then They Run’

Soba have announced their debut EP And Then They Run set to be released on the newly formed Relic Records. The duo consisting of DJ Custard and Joe Marsh of The Worst Guys have joined to create the new electronic outfit Soba. Here’s what the description says about the release:

‘And Then They Run’ is the result of a 3 year project starting back in November 2017. The collection of tracks is a direct product of the sounds that have been absorbed throughout the time of Soba’s existence. This five track EP now acts as an introduction to the vast and deep sounds that Soba have created throughout this duration. 

Throughout the EP, the variation of genre and sounds is the evidence of influence that Soba have taken from their environment. On ‘Valhalla’, enormous synthesiser melodies are swamped by the dark and twisted voices of those that have preceded us. Whilst on ‘Final Breaths’, the movement of air exceeds thumping kicks that propel the movement across the piece. The use of synthesisation and recordings accumulate the warmth and serenity of music that give Soba the ability to produce evocative dance music embedded within reality. 

A summation of underground sounds from the likes of Four Tet, Daniel Avery and Mall Grab; whilst combining their unique perception of ambiance allows Soba to excel to heights and sounds that master the excellence of dance music. In between the addictive rhythms and melodies, there is meaning and warmth that only exists within natural forms.

And Then They Run is available to pre-order here.

Tracklist:

  1. I Am Losing My Voice
  2. Untitled
  3. Valhalla
  4. Hel
  5. Final Breaths

The Worst Guys announce debut EP ‘Not So Bad’

The Worst Guys have announced their debut EP, Not So Bad, set to be released on the 11th of December. The new EP will feature 5 new songs, following on from 3 previously released single including “Platform” released earlier in the year. Read our full interview with the Birmingham based hip-hop duo here.

Speaking on the new EP the duo said “Reflecting on our experiences as a group and experiments with different styles with their five track project. Throughout the project, we discusses a range of topics from addressing difficult conversations, on equality and sociopolitical issues in society to the repetitive monotony of lockdown and its effects on mental health. The Worst Guys look to speak out on the pressure of life and seeking freedom from judgment. After releasing 3 singles, we wanted to embark on a new journey of creating a larger project, a new opportunity to discuss different topics and experiment with different sounds. With the first lockdown limiting studio work, we created hundreds of tracks through Facetime calls or long text conversations, carefully collecting ideas and exploring new concepts. Production wise, the EP was an opportunity to reflect on the year and represent these difficult emotions sonically with harsher sounds and tougher drum rhythms”.

Artwork by Isobel Crew

Tracklist:

  1. Isolation On The Menu
  2. Bittersweet
  3. YUMAD
  4. More Than Meets The Eye
  5. Never Back Down (N.B.D.)