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'Left Foot, Right Foot' is the 2nd album to be released from Australia's finest rappers The Hilltop Hoods, and their 3rd release overall. The Hoods have been about since 1997 but the chances are if you've never read my reviews or aren't Australian you probably haven't heard of them, and that's the biggest shame about their music, this group are very talented and make great music that deserves to be heard by the masses. I can hand on heart say that after about 15 years listening to rap these guys are some of the most talented musicians I've come across.
Meeting at school the group named themselves after an area nicknamed the Hilltops by the local youth, the group first got noticed when they put out the 'Highlanders' Demo tape. The group comprise of MC's Suffa and Pressure and DJ Debris and formerly DJ Next. It seems a darker record than usual but right now this is exactly what I want to listen to.
1 - Are You Ready?
2 - The Soul of the Beat
A track with very laid back beats to start the album, love the guitar throughout, there's some nice lyrics from both mc's, good use of the sample, but good samples are pretty much a signature of this band, the music only amplifies the lyrics.
3 - Left Foot, Right Foot featuring RAIZEONE
The mc's come much more aggressive on this compared to usual, some great and haunting piano stands out over the menacing beats, the lyrics are quite deep and depressing (which is hitting quite a chord with me at the moment, although that may be down to my recent mood), with the mc's looking inside themselves at the darkness in there souls/lives, I like everything about this song, the group always seem to have two or three tracks like this hidden on each album (Monsters Ball and City of Light come to mind).
When I lay down to sleep I turn to a deep thinker
dont wanna be a whinge like a lonely binge drinker
its just that, well they dont call me suffa for nothing
I'm a depressed harrowing repressed suffering manic
screamin at anybody anyplace,
man I love people I just hate the human race
and I hate all my friends cos all my friends are takin drugs
they think its spiritual like a hippy makin love
but the powders power only lasts for an hour
so they take a powder shower till they burn down like mickey lauder
sour times come quicker than a drum inside a finger
what I drum before that
what I drum for my da tinka
everyday for her's the saaaaaaame
link up, chin up
left foot, right foot
lay down, shut up
and relations get f*cked just like everyone else
man damn school ya problems im gonna focus on myself man
4 - Immortal MC's
Quite funky beats with some trumpets and blues guitar in there, I do like the production on this one, the lyrics are all over to be honest rapping about everything and anything but they are good, quite an interesting song with good music.
5 - What the Seasons Change
A very clever story telling track in the same vain as 'Stopping All Stations' from The Hard Road album, the story is of a man and takes us on his journey as his life fall's apart, starting with losing his job, leading to drug addiction, violence and jail, the lyrics use the change of the seasons to signify the changes in the man's life eg autumn thing's are beggining to fall apart, winter and his journey hits its lowest point, spring is time for re-growth in his life. A very dark (I love it), clever track with brilliant lyrics, the beats are as per usual excellent, more nice piano use, these guys like the piano as much as Dr Dre does.
6 - Another World featuring Koolism
I'm not sure if its just me but I can definitely hear a Public Enemy and Rakim and Eric B influence on this track, quite an old school sounding track, sample and scratching heavy, the raps are pretty good but nothing too special.
7 - When I'm
A song about being in a club, and what the Hoods do when their in one, fairly laid back beats, very blues with a little saxophone in for good measure, it's a decent song but they have done better.
8 - Leaving Sideways
A fairly poor track in which there isn't much I like, there's something about how low key the song sounds that doesn't work for me, I'm sure the lyrics would go well over a different beat but this is a track I'll be skipping in future.
9 - Running from the Storm
This one sounds like it was recorded with a live band to me the way the vocals mix with the guitar and drums, I do like the way it sounds, I prefer Suffa's verse to Pressures, but I like them both really, Suffa's just seems to have more of an edge to it for me plus love his word play at the end of his verse.
10 - Distortion
Pressure MC really goes off on one during this track, while the beats are slow and melodic Pressure raps with pace and aggression, his style on this sounds comparable to Eminem but the Australian accent pretty much disguises this, I do like his flow, another good song with good piano in there.
11 - Don't Stop
A bouncy, funky track, a song to listen to to lift your mood, the lyrics are just the mc's having fun, this type of song is a rappers bread and butter type track, with a bit lyrical skill and good production you almost can't fail to make a good song with this formula.
12 - Elevation remix featuring Bonez
Both rappers really play on their accents on this one to much entertainment, I really like the way this track sounds, very laid back, relaxing beats, while the lyrics work well.
13 - Baby Steps
A great sounding, short interlude track.
14 - Sojourn
More laid back beats, a few people I've spoken to like this one a lot but I'm not so keen, it's nothing above average for these guys, maybe my expectations are higher after hearing their other work but I wasn't really one for me. It may grow on me in the future but for now a low score for what seems a fairly boring track, it may be because this is a fairly happy track and I'm just not in the mood for this kind of thing at the moment.
15 - Tolerance Levels featuring Mass MC and Fatface
A really wicked track, some crazy lyrics almost reminiscent of Insane Clown Posse at times (almost), quite a horror core sounding one, I love how different the lyrics are, love the chorus, while I also love the moody blues music accompanying it, one of my favourites on the album. The guests on the song sounds great too, very Ozzie sounding, I need to hear more Australian rap.
Weather the storm but you can't stand the rain boy,
Gets played like a game boy,
I'll make you F*CKING SUFFER like my name boy!
I've been busting raps since the days of fat laces
There's a lot of new rappers, but they're not Fatfaces
They're disgraces, they could never be compared to me
(Like are they really that bad?) Well I'm prepared to see
I'll be at their stage show, waiting in the front row
And if they try and diss I'm gonna stop their flow
Like cholesterol in the arteries and sh*t in the S bend
I'll rattle their whole crew and scull back the west end
I'm destined to be known, for ripping the microphone
Try and bite like a clone, that'll never be condoned
I've shown some restraint, but now I've reached the edge
Of my tolerance level, so it's you I'm gonna sledge
I pledge allegiance to Australia, I'm a true aussie rhymer
Mate your raps stink more than a prostitute's vagina.
16 - I Believe
A pretty funky sounding song, fairly upbeat, Suffa seems to rap at a slightly higher pitch than usual, love the sample for the chorus, Pressure comes with the stand out rap on here (just), a great song, love everything about it from the music to the raps, and the darkness in the lyrics.
17 - Omega
Clever title for the last track to an album (for those who don't know Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet), but it's only an instrumental which is a shame as I do like the beat.
Overall a 8/10 for me pushing for an 9/10 but a couple of weak tracks knock it down, its not quite at the same level as the 2 different Hard Road albums or the Calling but its still a great listen, I recommend this to all rap fans who enjoy something different to the traditional American sound.