Album Reviews

Goldie Lookin’ Chain – Safe As F*ck

(Atlantic) UK release date: 19 September 2005

Despite being around for years, it was only last year that Goldie Lookin’ Chain finally hit the big time, thanks in no small part to the entry of the word ‘chav’ into the lexicon. With their songs about Elizabeth Duke jewellery, Burberry and daft catchphrases like Clart and You Knows It, the GLC rode the zeitgeist at exactly the right time.

Yet comedy records, especially comedy rap, traditionally has a limited shelf-life, so will Maggot, Mr Love Eggs and the rest still sound as fresh and funny this time round? Well, against all the odds, they do. Although Safe As F*ck is never going to end up on the ‘best of’ albums of the year list come December, it ticks all the boxes from what you want from a Goldie Lookin’ Chain album: catchy, listenable, and most importantly of all, consistently and repeatedly funny.

Only one band could fill their album with subjects as diverse as ripping off Claims Direct, a tender love affair with a monkey, or growing a pair of man-breasts after smoking too much dope. If you’re looking for serious social comment, you’ve come to the wrong place – although Your Missus Is A Nutter could be read as a damning indictment of the drink binge culture, it’s more likely to be an excuse to throw in the line “she showed the bouncer her minge”.

Musically, it’s a great progression on Greatest Hits. R’n’B is a terrific pastiche of boy bands, with well aimed barbs at New Kids On The Block, Another Level and Take That all hitting the mark. Yet it’s the fact that it possesses some startlingly good rapping and some soulful vocals that make it the highlight of the record – at first listen, you’d swear it really was some new Blue-wannabe group just starting out.

Elsewhere, Charmschool uses the genius move of sampling the theme tune to Grange Hill, with lyrics that will either have you tutting and shaking your head or giggling uncontrollably like a naughty schoolboy (“I got my fingers stuck in the dinner lady’s batter” for example). The single Your Missus Is A Nutter uses a Darkness-style guitar lick and will stick in your head as much as Guns Don’t Kill People Rappers Do did.

Admittedly, there are some tracks which scream ‘filler’ – Maggot At Midnight and Paranoia, as well as being not particularly funny, are pretty dull – the majority of the album stands up to repeated play. Monkey Love sounds like an Outkast track, until you listen to the frankly disturbing lyrics about breaking into a zoo, climbing into a monkey’s cage and making love to the animal until 2 in the morning. Despite it being about bestiality, it would be a sad soul who found the song offensive – like all of GLC’s best songs, it’s juvenile but utterly hilarious.

Although there’s a nagging feeling that the joke will wear thin soon, for the moment the GLC are a breath of fresh air and the perfect band to pick you up if you’re feeling a bit down. After all, who could resist a band who plead “if you leave me now, can I f*ck your sister? And your best friend?”. Still safe as f*ck in fact – you knows it.

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