Revival Season – Golden Age Of Self Snitching: Review

Artwork for Revival Season's debut album Golden Age Of Self Snitching

Revival Season show how wicked Southern hip-hop took their very souls.

Psst…it’s trade secrets time at L4E.

With (almost) every album we get, we’re provided with what in old money was known as a press release which is meant to give you a bit more background about the artist, the record, the thought process behind it, the idea being generally to make everyone’s lives a bit easer.

Sometimes the full text can be a bit basic, along the lines of, ‘Sounds a bit like Nirvana. Email me if you’ve got any queries’, but with Revival Season’s debut there also came a whopping 1,400 word manifesto, which tells you that, above all else, here are people who have something to say.

We only have about 600, so to give you the important bits, Revival Season consist of Brandon ‘BEZ’ (B Easy) Evans and beatmaker/producer Jonah Swilley, both of who spent their adolescences in Georgia’s Pentecostal churches – the latter is the child, grandchild and great grandchild of ministers – before wicked Southern hip-hop then took their very souls.

Drawing inspiration from the state’s rich heritage, Swilley claims that, ‘OutKast, CeeLo (Cult but hugely influential collective) Dungeon Family, Organized Noize…kind of allowed for us to exist’.

Golden Age Of Snitching’s title reflects, says Evans, Revival Season’s disillusionment with the current scramble for riches: ‘Everybody’s racing to do the most, to be the most, to show the most — The Golden Age of Self-Snitching is a commentary on that.’

It’s a dilution of talent by greed from Revival Season’s perspective that’s addressed directly on the scre-riddled, parodical Everybody (‘Every muthafucka want a bad assed bitch/Every mothafucka got a mix tape out’), but if that’s basic by design to reflect the desperation they hear, much of the rest consists of glitchy mashups and style takeovers that make this a record which is hard to process in one listen. Given license, there’s something here to pick up on in more or less every track.

In this mind, junkyard opener Look Out Below has rhymes but the delivery is flanked by a synth loop before revving up to a pneumatic bass riff; the following Barry White, which deals with opioid abuse but has no love walrus in sight, scrambles and samples in the mould of techno, a nightmare dancefloor you might want no part of.

The lines between styles and concepts in hip hop’s underground are now so blurred so as to no longer exist, but in this ADHD environment everything is a jungle, from Golden Silverware’s links to the biopic of Brazillian Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna to Love To See It’s stark depiction of idealistic betrayal as a business model, sentiment walled in with the fact that, as Revival Season say, ‘The revolution will not be under your notifications’.

All this probably reads like a shell with ideas ricocheting around inside, and that wouldn’t be far from whatever truth lies in it, but in phases the peaks are effective, if not easy to get along with.

Here, the dub inflected Propaganda and its thousand-syllables-a-minute delivery feel like two separate but great tracks, Stars is less grim every time it’s heard, whilst the popoff funk anthem Pump offers outsiders a chink of accessibility.

They wrote lots of words about it, but it still didn’t really scratch the surface of Golden Age Of Snitching’s abstract appeal.

They sound like they have the devil in them all through it, but Revival Season are ready to baptise you into their world, and if you take the invitation you’re never going to be same again.

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