EMP Gang – Good Misery Bad Company
Opening with a thin, distant sound and an Angel Haze style female vocal, EMP Gang has created a new album rich in style and ideas.
With the clever start out of the way, the album steps up with its title track ‘Good Misery Bad Company’, with provocative lyrics that power ahead in an unrelenting fashion. Moving on swiftly, ‘The Power’ continues with its previous references to the Lord and adding religious imagery of crucifixes, underpinned with a consistent 3-note piano part that occasionally shifts up an octave. The juxtaposition of the beauty and fragility against the brittle and outright aggressive raps, spitting out ‘motherf_____’ over and over, creates a fascinating tension that is increased with the high attack, low decay of the snare.
‘Turn Down’ throws a dark synth into the mix, with high levels of treatment on the vocals; distortion, megaphone effects, pitch shifting. There’s a smoothness of tone that moves in and out of the mix, the variety of vocal styles make sure the track stays fresh throughout, with Kanye style low-end grit peppering it at points.
‘Hey … Listen!’ takes a turn towards a more laid back R&B style, with flecks of pitch-shifted vocals that add a dubstep feel in places, creating a track that’s rich in its influences and wide ranging in terms of what it tries to achieve.