Stink-O-Vision by Stinkin Slumrok
4 Mar 2022
Blah Records advertise Stinkin Slumrok as rapping in a 'highly distinguished and accomplished manner'. They also say he'll 'come round to your yard and stink the place out with the most potent dank fat buds'. So as you see there are many layers to Stinkin Slumrok. What I can say for sure though is that his fourth studio album Stink-o-Vision was released this week on Blah Records and I have listened to it from beginning to end.
Slumrok has a reputation for sticking to subject matter he is comfortable with and that is very much in the field of getting blazed. You would expect then that four albums in he would be running out of words that rhyme with zoot. Well you'de be mistaken. Although Stink-o-Vision rarely steps more than three paces away from the subject of smoking it is a surprisingly fun record with a rounded identity and Slumroks rhyming is interesting and clever in a class clown kind of way. The production is simple but not amateur or naive. It implies more of a leaning to the underground British hip hop of the early noughties. Songs such as SAS and SOME THINGS are a dusty record effect away from some of the Mark B productions of early Task Force. The biggest miss on the record is the infuriating ear worm WHOTHEFKISTHIS?. It's backed by the most overpowering keyboard loop that detracts from anything being said. He could be rapping about stock prices and I wouldn't notice. The overly minimal beat does nothing to dampen the blow and subsequently Slumroks voice is often lost on this track.
Elsewhere on the record, fortunately, the vocal treatment is on point. Slumroks distinctive tone cuts through the beats well and is layered in all the right places. I'm less excited to hear the more melodic chorus' and think in some cases these would have been more successful with featured vocalists. Slumroks flow is not the most adventurous and that's probably for the best. In GOBLET he challenges himself to an obscure delivery which he really struggles to do justice to. This is emphasised by a fast paced opening verse from Bang On! which really makes a big impact and sets a high bar. The first half of this album employs a very similar rhythm to most of the tracks and Slumrok rides them with a consistency that is cheeky and charismatic enough to not get boring.
Stink-o-Vision is a long way off perfection even for a record as light hearted as it is. A few production failings and poor judgements break up what is otherwise a refreshingly straight forward slice of quick witted hip hop. There aren't any bangers that will prompt a rewind but most of the album would fit nicely as the soundtrack to your slow drive around London estates with the roof down later this summer. Take a listen and let me know what you think.
Don't smoke and drive.