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Heavier Than Elephants

Tuneful, humorous and at times acerbic and reflective, the debut release by Spit 'n' Strings is a mix of acoustic hip hop and witty social commentary. The band are from Sheffield and their Yorkshire accents come through strongly on Heavier Than Elephants, especially within the lead vocals of Tom Douglas, giving the music an authenticity, which is what good hip hop has always been known for. The other members are James McManus (guitar/vocals), Dave Murphy (bass/backing vocals) and Chris Basford (drums).

Heavier Than Elephantshas a varied approach. There are tracks like 'Everything 'n' Nothing' and 'Supply and Demand' which touch on drug abuse and inner city violence, then there’s the likes of 'Radio 4', which comments on everyday fears of getting old and boring. Few rappers, British or otherwise, would compose a song as self-deprecating as 'Trail Blazer', whose chorus has the line, “He was a trail blazer and I was a shy boy.” Other surprises are 'Move Yer Body', a moving depiction of true friendship, and 'Butterflies', a sombre and cerebral love song.

The LP has been expertly produced by Dave Sanderson at 2Fly Studios, who has given the record an open and welcoming feel, and the group’s use of live instruments instead of samples lends the music a warmth and accessibility. While Spit 'n' Strings haven't made anything particularly groundbreaking, they have shown that hip hop can laugh at itself, like Digital Underground and De la Soul once did.