Album Reviews

Spank Rock – Everything Is Boring And Everyone Is A Fucking Liar

(LabelName) UK release date: 03 October 2011


Having gained a reputation with the Ninja Tune début YoYoYoYoYo and an excellent Fabric mix CD, the expectations for Naeem Juwan AKA Spank Rock understandably ride high, especially since it’s been several years since a major release from him. Much like his friend Diplo, Juwan possesses a chameleon-like ability to adapt to any genre. While he’s grounded in sweaty electro-rap and bass he displays a fearless drive to try different styles. This album’s use of several producers also makes sure that it never lets the grass grow under its feet.

Low-key opener Ta Da tricks you with its initial understatement before letting rip with cool dexterity for the final verse. Suddenly we’re in throw your hands in the air territory as Nasty invites us to “Bend over the woofer, let the bass rub you down”. The album’s undisputed highpoint sees Spank Rock joined by Santigold for Car Song where the catchy retro bass line and witty lyrics seem dwarfed by the awesome sultriness of Santi White’s vocals. Elsewhere, The Dance provides another highlight channelling the musical fusion of a dance floor friendly TV On The Radio.

The album is well paced and every track clocks in at roughly three minutes but, despite a handful of great moments, it veers frustratingly from floor filler to Polyfilla. On occasions where the tracks get caught in a musical or lyrical rut it resorts to chanting the same thing over and over again. It’s rare that this works in Spank Rock’s favour, although Race Riot’s repeated refrain of “Shake it till my dick turns racist!” just about offsets the more irritating moments of repetition in Birfday and Cool Shit.

This album treads most of the same territory as Major Lazer did two years ago, but where that project contained a sense of humour that helped you forgive its more risqué moments, here we regularly descend into the 3 deadly Bs of Hip Hop (Bravado, Bitches and Bling) without enough irony. Some of Juwan’s lyrics are funny but others engage in the same borderline misogyny that’s now a rap cliché and the seemingly derogatory use of the word “fag” in Turn It Off also raises questions.

But what is inescapable is that if you’re going to call your album Everything is Boring and Everyone is a Fucking Liar then it had better be interesting and have something to say. The audacity of the album’s name can’t hide the fact that for half of the time it does neither and the title becomes an elephant in the room. There are some noteworthy moments where brilliance is glimpsed, but this album seems to be maintaining the status quo rather than sparking a revolt- and that’s no word of a fucking lie.


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Spank Rock – Everything Is Boring And Everyone Is A Fucking Liar