Shamoniks - "Shout" Single Review
Review originally published by Welsh Connections on 20th Feb 2021.
With claustrophobic intensity, “Shout” – Shamoniks’ harsh, gritty D&B driven rap duet with Bouff – is an expression of multi-layered politically charged frustration and a stewing reproof of the UK’s pandemic-time leaders.
“Shout” is not a protest song but a defiant forewarning amongst the despair. Beyond the burden of indefinite lock down, the two rappers rue the government’s early response (or lack of) to a global crisis. Beyond the hardship of indefinite cancellation, they deplore the dereliction and shaming of the creative sector. While these themes don’t always sit side by side so coherently, this certainly reflects the turbulent emotional reality of living through these times.
Lyrically loaded with satisfying, organic alliteration and rhymes, the shared vocal duties, interspersed with a chronological recount of headline facts and figures, breaks up the patter just enough to add movement against familiar break beats, warbling synths and filter sweeps. Also capturing the overbearing feeling of lockdown, the track is deliberately unrelenting and only lets up for a few short breaks that feel more like a stir-crazy trance than respite. While the heavily compressed sound further adds to the feeling of cabin fever, it sometimes works against the track’s dynamics (I’m missing that compelling D&B gut-punch that gets you to your feet) and the vocals are somewhat lost amongst the density. With that said, while this doesn’t always add up to the most comfortable listening experience, maybe that’s the point.
While it doesn’t break new musical ground, “Shout” will be a treat for fans of Wales’ often underrepresented scenes in D&B, electronica, dance and rap, whilst also speaking to those currently climbing the walls. A more casual listener currently feeling the strain of their own lockdown existence may want to avoid repeat plays for now.