The first full length from chaotic folk hip hop types Toah Dynamic.
Marcus Scott 2003-01-27
Cops Hate our Love is the idiosyncratic but strangely brilliant album from Toah Dynamic. The band have an 'everything and the kitchen sink' attitude to making musicthat's refreshing to hear. They have the same attitude to genres too, casually mixing English folk, old school hip hop and so on, creating a strange, unique hybrid.
Before listening, it's worth considering that some of the bandssolo projects have ranged from Kid Acne's collaboration with hip hop head Req, to Supreme Vagabond Craftsman's utterly bizarre medieval folk. As if that weren't enough,, their drummer plays with speed metal band Bolt Thrower.
Lyrically, Toah Dynamic occupy a bizarre and hysterical world of their own, full of strange tales of acid trips, paying kids to fight forM& Ms, and lions, tigers and bears. It's all delivered by various vocalists in a style reminiscent of the Fall's Mark E Smith or on occasions Shaun Ryder.
The albumkicks off with"Rave Radio". Like Mantronix or early Boogie Down Productions on strange drugs, its hammered 808 stabs and off kilter samplers providing the only moment of relative familiarity on the album.
It's closely followed by "Billy Jean Kickout"; imagine the theme tune to Different Strokes loosely interpretedbynorthern farmers raised on hip hop and bad milk, complete with twanging banjo, scratching and buried drums.
"Lions tigers and bears" is all folk guitar, recorder and accordion with incoherent glitchy vocals, while"Drug Songs for the Irish" recalls Parliament and the Happy Mondays jamming with broken equipment.
The quite beautiful instrumental"Ghosts in Petrol" offers some respite from the towering oddness of the vocals, with pretty strings, guitar, minimal drums and xylophone. The album ends with "Pentecostal Quids In", which features an uncanny impersonation of Sting (singing"Don't Stand so Close to Me").
Overall, Toah Dynamic must be applauded for their single minded madness. Their music is in the spirit of British post punk bands who did their own thing, like 23 Skidoo, 400 Blows or A Certain Ratio, although it certainly doesn't sound like any of them. In the currently retro musical climate it's good to hear a band taking wisdom from the past without descending into mere imitation.