The debut release of ‘No State’ made a heavy impact to our music collection in 2011, and it has become very clear that Granville Sessions ‘Forward’ follows suit perfectly. The release of the ‘Forward’ single featuring the talented Oliver Sudden, Jester Jacob’s and a decent amount of ice cream cones has already smashed it on youtube with over 2,000 views. The collective who hail from London show listeners what a pure heavy sound of hip hop accompanied by a live band should sound like. With an album so full of contagious beats and catchy one liners like ‘I’ll carve up beats like I’m cutting a steak up’, you will find yourself listening to this bad boy on repeat for three hours solid ( and this is speaking from experience).
You don’t really want to find yourself saying that this LP ‘takes you on a journey’ as such, but after a few more listens it becomes apparent that it is actually kind of true. Your listen starts with the big ‘I AM’ with self affirming tracks like ‘For Real’, but the further you delve into the album, and go past the bitter-sweet wisdom of cannabis, the more you hear rhymes that flow with honesty and jam packed matter of fact opinions and stories about life and death.
The thirteen track album jumps straight to the point with a banger of an opening called ‘March’. Each track off this album has something to offer, and it is hard to find any faults or kinks in it at all. ‘Ill Architecture’ holds its own with one of the strongest instrumentals off the entire album where you can only begin to imagine how good it will sound performed live. (A must turn up loud on your speakers if you want to get the full trumpet impact). ‘The Next One’ is another banger in terms of pure musical wonder. The hypnotic, uplifting beat makes it near impossible to be still as you listen to this track. Just by looking at the title, you know instantly that ‘Green’ is the ‘token’ weed song off the album-but granted a good one at that. It’s bars like “pretty sure I’m fine, no cannabis psychosis” that bring an untainted, double sided sword view on the vice in many peoples lives. Its the instrumental interlude that follows swiftly from ‘Green’ though that also makes this number complete. The deep echo sound of dub compliments the reggae inspired style of the previous track, and just extends the rad-ness of the sound for even longer. ‘Hungry Ghost’ is a point where it seems the album takes it down a pace to tell the story of characters who’s habits result in destructive lives. “We all fiend for something its a natural fact.” It is this point where you realise shit just gets that bit more serious, but the engaging flow of this story has you holding on to every word, and not to mention that everyone loves a good character focused track in an album.
It is probably down to the contrasting ‘themes’ touched on in this album that makes it appear like it is presented structurally into three. The self affirming, ‘hands up in the air’ first section, a bass shaking reggae inspired middle section, with the final focus on the ‘darker’ side of life. To top it all, this is also accompanied with carefully placed instrumental interludes that aid the sounds of previous tracks; from extending a positive vibe from one beat, to softening the blow of a lyrically hard hitting track. Both lyrically and musically, these artists explore all themes and opinions towards life, from a frank outlook on death and the humans purpose, to getting stuck in a rut with habits. The variety this album has to offer doesn’t suggest a lack of ‘musical identity’ for the collective, but instead shows off the bands eclectic creativity, and and their variety of pure, incredible skills. ‘Forward’ LP drops this July and is a definite must for your heavy beat-dependent ears this summer. GET ON IT.
Review by Abi Lewis @ab_lew
Hardcopies of the album will be stocked at Suspect Packages, pre-order link is now live: http://www.suspect-packages.com/store/forward-pre-order/?c=u