|Ard Times - The Cobbled Streets Ep [Soundz Wicked]
The five track EP commences with What's It Worth? a track which starts off with some nice pianos before the crew start singing the chorus riff which states all that the song is about. In the verses Ard Times explore societies fixations with materialism and question big time whether this is a divisive human trait. They certainly don't need to be bogged down with this.
On The Chirps as you would expect is a dissection of the male psyche and focuses on male obsession with getting laid. Differences between the way guys and girls think are examined as the two MCs each take a different approach to their conquests. The production on this sounds a little thin in that the lyrics don't really sit within the track, but sound a bit more like they are laid over the top if you know what I mean. Overall this track lacks a bit of energy until later on and is generally a young mans fantasy.
The title track of the EP Cobbled Streets takes on the theme from a previous song - Dayz Of The Razor in which Ard Times get all Lock Stock on us and pay tribute to the London Gangsters of yesteryear. The beat has a bit of a yesteryear feel as well with the use of a Mantronix type hand clap instead of a snare. Production is a touch synthy and could do with the addition of a nice crusty sample in to the mix.
A rocking drum machine beat a la early BDP heralds Nuttin' Special which is a partially biographical tale in which Nom, JD and The Cuz break down how their careers are progressing in the music biz, and their personal feelings towards gaining more recognition and the expectations this places on them as artists. The semi chanted chorus sounds particularly down beat as does the gentle piano and vibes type chords which make up the majority of the backing.
The EP rounds off with Clix 'n' Crews which gets off to an off beat start before you realise this track has a more speeded up vibe and some more complex lyrical flows. This is describesd as a boysterous bass heavy 'we couldn't care less' track and I feel what they are trying to acheive with the emphasis they are placing on certain words in the verses. The MCs drop verbals in which rival crews and the local old bill take a verbal pasting. This was on occasion sounding a bit Mike Skinner and as such didn't quite float my boat.
2000 & Beyond